Prentice said the issue with the State is they see the liabilities so the State suspends and does nothing else, adding they are dumping it on the County. He recommended that from here on this item be a closed session item and asked the Board not to discuss it anymore outside of closed session until they come up with a plan. It was decided that Supervisors Schlefstein and Beard would be on the committee.
LETTER OF INTEREST:
To: Van Maddox, Sierra County Tax Collector
Re: Loyalton Mobile Home Park
Dear Mr. Maddox:
As you know, this firm represents Ernest Rimmer, resident and manager of the Loyalton Mobile Home Park. The purpose of this letter is to put you, and by extension Sierra County, on notice that any further attempts to force the residents of the Loyalton Mobile Home Park out of their homes will be promptly met with legal proceedings.
The Loyalton Mobile Home Park residents have been in a state of fear and worry for a long time, due to the fact that the Park owner Steven Griggs, has abandoned the Park. This has resulted in continual decline in a maintenance of the Park, mounting utility bills, ongoing uncertainty about the future, introduction of squatters to the Park, and other problems the residents have had to deal with. The County, and yourself, are well aware of these issues. The existence of squatters and other individuals who have no right to reside in the Park is a health and safety issue the County is disregarding, despite the fact the residents have attempted on multiple occasions to have the squatters removed.
The Park has been up for tax-sale auction on multiple occasions, and has not sold. Despite your ability to reduce the minimum bid to a price that would attract a buyer the County has chosen not to do so, due at least in part to your belief that the property will sell for a higher price as raw land. The primary problem with
this approach and plan is that selling the Park property as raw land will displace all of the residents, approximately 35% of whom are disabled individuals, and many others who are elderly, The vast majority of the residents do not have anywhere to go if they are uprooted, and this callous approach to the lives of approximately 60 people is frankly disturbing. This approach also neglects to consider the damage that will be done to the businesses in Loyalton who depend on the purchases of the Park residents, as the residents comprise approximately ten percent of the people in the Loyalton area. The additional problem with this belief and approach is that converting the Park to raw land will take substantial funds.
Multiple individuals have also informed our office that there is an attitude amongst individuals in County government that the Park residents “need to go.” The identities of these individuals will for now remain confidential. Where exactly the County wants the residents to go is unclear, but there seems to be a prevailing attitude that the Park residents are lower class individuals that the County would prefer to be rid of. This attitude is also subtly evident in the audio recordings of the Board meetings online.
The recent action prompting this letter is the fact the County has requested the Department of Housing and Community Development to permanently revoke the Park’s operating permit. This is also evident from the County’s July 5, 2016 agenda record. I will be absolutely clear; this solicitation was unwarranted and inappropriate, and if it continues it will further make the County squarely liable for any and all relocation expenses incurred by the residents. We are also informed that numerous factually inaccurate statements have been made in conjunction with the solicitation.
The attempt to revoke the Park’s operating permit also bears the risk of driving away any potential purchasers of the Park, as you know the inability to reinstate the operating permit would be a deal-killer to purchasers. Rather than soliciting the State to permanently shut down the Park, I would think the County would be doing its best to find a capable, responsible owner and to place the Park up for auction again as quickly as possible. This is especially so in light of the fact multiple potential purchasers fitting this description have expressed an interest in purchasing the Park. Despite this it appears the County has done its best to avoid communicating with any of the purchasers, and refuses to auction the property again until winter 2016. This is unacceptable for the residents.
In closing, Mr. Rimmer and the other residents ask that the County assist them by doing everything possible to auction the property to a responsible owner at a reasonable price, as quickly as possible. Lisa Campbell, counsel for the Department of Housing and Community Development, has attempted to coordinate meetings and conference calls with individuals from the Department, County, and potential purchasers, which so far the County has refused to participate in. By copy of this letter to County counsel it is requested that Mr. Christian contact me to coordinate such a call so that everyone can discuss resolution of these issues.
If you would like to discuss anything do not hesitate to contact me.
Derek C. Decker
Krogh & Decker, LLP
Attorneys at Law