Just the Facts: Susy Forbath is a paralegal who works closely with Richard Close while representing mobile home park owners seeking to convert their parks to resident ownership.

Star Wars Analogy: The dark side of The Force is strong with her but she has yet to fully control it’s power.

Recent Public Statement of Questionable Accuracy: To justify her assertion that the owner of Alimur Park has the legal right to convert his park regardless of any city and county ordinances and in spite of nearly 100% resident survey opposition, Susy invoked the Governors veto of AB1542. “Governor Schwarzenegger made it clear that he supports the conversion process with his veto of AB1542? she claimed.

This is a clear misreading of his veto. In his veto statement Governor Schwarzenegger only commented on the rent control protections that, in his opinion, were too aggressive as they included everyone regardless of income level. He didn’t mention the key component of AB1542 which gives counties and cities the right to deny a conversion application if it is not “bona fide” as defined by their local ordinances. Invoking his veto is also a non sequitur as the Governor is not a judge and will have no say in deciding the legality of city and county ordinances as they apply to current state law.

Below is the full text of his veto message:
( You can download it as PDF)

AB 1542 Veto Letter from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

To the Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 1542 without my signature. I am greatly concerned about housing affordability and homeownership for all Californians. I understand the sanctity of the home and the importance of having stability in your living situation. This need for stability was eloquently expressed by the many seniors throughout California who have written to me on both sides of this bill.

I also recognize that compared to other housing issues there is a uniqueness regarding mobilehomes and all the varied manners of ownership, leasing, affordability, and opportunity. It is because of this uniqueness that laws were enacted to create statewide standards for mobilehome parks.

The intent of current state law is to provide an opportunity for home ownership to those mobilehome owners who desire to own both their home and the land it rests on. The law also offers protections for low-income individuals against unwarranted rent increases.

While the bill’s intent is to preserve low-income housing, it also extends rent control in certain circumstances to mobilehome owners in much of the state no matter what their income level. It is unclear what state interest is served by the extension of rent control for those who do not have an economic disadvantage.

In addition, establishing two statewide standards for rent control seems confusing and unnecessary.

It is clear that mobilehome issues require a comprehensive approach to ensure that low income individuals and families are protected, homeownership opportunities are afforded to those who choose them, and stability of the home and property is preserved.

I urge the Legislature over the coming year to find a solution that provides true balance for all the stakeholders involved in mobilehome issues.

Sincerely,

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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