|There is a lot going on! We will report briefly on the issues that we are working on and will provide a more detailed report on what is happening in the City of Santa Ana because it has far-reaching impacts for our region and beyond.
Anaheim Council Member Natalie Rubalcava is facing a recall. MHET and Anaheim park owners supported her election in 2022, so we are monitoring this effort and the organizers behind it. Costa Mesa has reappointed Eileen Cirillo and Maria Horton to serve along with MHET Executive Director Vickie Talley on the city’s Mobile Home Park Advisory Committee. After over 30 years, the city of Huntington Beach has terminated the Mobile Home Advisory Board. Even though the voters in this city voted two-to-one back in 2002 to amend the city charter to prevent rent control, the mobile home owners in the city continue to fight for rent control. Recently, the tenant group held a “workshop” in the City of Anaheim inviting elected officials and trying to drum up support for rent control. Corona City Council has given direction to draft a mobile home rent control ordinance to be brought back to the council. This not a pro-business council to say the least. It was hard to listen to disparaging comments about park owners made by some council members – very discouraging. Beaumont is reviewing their mobile home rent control ordinance. Unlike Corona and on a positive note WMA and MHET will be actively participating in the review and any recommendations to update or modify the existing ordinance. The City of Riverside had residents from one park show up for its annual rent control ordinance review meeting. The residents’ comments about their park were only positive and how wonderful the park and the ownership was. However, a few council member thought it would be a “good idea” to have staff review the ordinance since it was first adopted “nearly 30 years ago”. Another closely-monitored situation.
Now for the City of Santa Ana. The four far-left, progressive activist council majority in this city is literally drunk with power. They began two years ago by adopting one of the worst rent-control and just-cause eviction ordinances and followed with the hiring a consulting firm to rewrite and implement the new regulations. Two law suits were filed and are underway challenging the ordinance in both Federal and State courts. A few months ago, the city announced a Rental Registry that required all Santa Ana rental property owners to provide, among other things, the names of who they are renting to, their phone numbers, the language they speak and copies of all notices and leases given to the tenant(s). Rental Property owners viewed this as an outright intrusion of privacy and objected strongly. In response, at the November 7, 2023 council meeting, the council walked back on some of the registry requirements. At the same meeting, the council majority decided to put a ballot measure on the November 2024 ballot asking voters if they want to change the city charter to allow non-citizens to vote. Another four-to-three vote. CLICK HERE for Attorney Paul Beard’s letter on Registry.
In accordance with the rent control ordinance, the council is appointing members to the seven-member Rental Housing Board that will hear petitions submitted for rent increase. One of the duties of the Board will be to conduct hearings on petitions, applications and appeals submitted by landlords and tenants. And, those hearings are right around the corner. Two applications for Vega rent adjustments have been filed for rent increases in mobile home parks—and more are anticipated. The basis for the applications is that the base rent needs to be adjusted (increased) because the rent was below market when rent control was adopted and the base rent was established.
And, finally, the recall is underway of Council Member Jessie Lopez who rounds out the controlling majority of four on the council. We are very engaged in this election supporting the recall along with our allied association coalition members. The Police Officers Association is leading the recall effort in district three. This has not been easy either. With ballots mailed out and votes being cast, a question was raised about which district boundaries, and therefore voters, should be used to gather signatures for the recall and ultimately to vote on the recall. Legal action was filed trying to stop the election. It is now moving forward with both sides fighting over a few hundred votes.
For those interested in more details, here is a sample of the Santa Ana articles:
OC Independent, November 7, 2023 “Judge Rejects Attempt by Lopez Allies to Stop Recall Election”
OC Independent, November 8, 2023 “ Santa Ana City Council’s Progressive Majority Puts Noncitizen Voting on November 2024 Ballot”