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Yes on Measure F sign

If you care about senior housing in St. Helena vote “yes” on Measure F.

Below is a short of review of the most egregious items taken from NO on F ads.

1). FALSE: "If Measure F passes, it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement and administer.” “It costs too much.” "It makes every taxpayer liable for all the costs."

FACT: The City Council will absorb the cost until 50 percent of mobile home park spaces are stabilized. Estimated cost at 50 percent is $2,100 per year. Once 50 percent of the park is stabilized, the cost is passed to the park owner who is allowed to pass 50 percent through to park residents. These costs are conservative estimates based on Calistoga, where there are multiple mobile home parks under rent stabilization and the annual cost per unit is $20.

2). FALSE: “Let’s fix our sidewalks first.”

FACT: The sidewalk program is funded and on schedule! Obviously, whoever suggested this is not from St. Helena. Sidewalk replacement is in the city’s capital improvement plan, fully funded and as of this moment, the contract engineering firm is finishing the survey work necessary to finalize the plans and submit them to Caltrans.

3). FALSE: RSO “only applies to 10 mobile homes.”

FACT: Every time a new resident moves in or a lease expires, the park owner must present the tenant with the option to sign a 12-month renewable stabilized lease or a long-term lease. The park owner’s attorney reported an average of 12 home sales per year. There may be 10 leases expiring next month, perhaps 10 more the following month. July 1 is apparently a date when several leases expire. No one knows for sure because the park owner has consistently refused to provide the City with any information. RSO is a program that is designed to phase in over time.

4). FALSE: “Does not protect senior housing.”

FACT: RSO protects senior housing, particularly those on fixed incomes, keeping base rents at levels in effect as of October 2018 and setting caps on annual increases. Without RSO, there are no limits on the park owner’s ability to raise base rent to whatever the market will bear. Without RSO, there are no limits on annual rent increases.

5). FALSE: RSO will "Jeopardize St. Helena’s financial future.”

FACT: Have you paid attention to the city’s financial reporting lately? General Fund reserves in the latest long-range financial forecast ranged from 28 percent to 98 percent under four scenarios. St. Helena’s General Fund is healthy in terms of total revenues over expenses and short-term resources based on the latest California Municipal Financial Health Diagnostic. Does anyone seriously believe that $2,100 per year jeopardizes our multi-million dollar operating and capital budgets?

6). "The election is costing the taxpayers $30,000.”

TRUTH: No on F forced this election and passed the costs on St. Helena taxpayers. The outside PAC spent $15,000 to gather signatures that put this measure on the ballot. No on F brought a lawsuit against the city claiming the city’s ballot language is misleading, which was quickly dismissed by the judge, forcing the city to spend more taxpayer funds on bogus legal defense. The estimated cost for special election hand counts is $25,000.

The outside “committee” directly behind the NO on F ballot measure is: "Save our St. Helena - No on F, a project of Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association.” They are an outside group and it's not their St. Helena.

The NO on F intentionally misleads voters through Facebook ads, robocalls, false campaign material, and paid campaign workers from outside St. Helena, using the outside PAC funds (more than $50,000) at its disposal.

It’s a bit confusing but these PACs represent the interests of other mobile home park owners, not St. Helena residents. So far, according to their own financial reporting, no St. Helena resident has donated to No on F. A few mobile home park owners donated $1,000 which triggered the need to file a 497.

There are 271 registered voters at Vineyard Valley.

Only 82 residents or 30 percent of Vineyard Valley voters signed the referendum petition.

Susan Kenward

St. Helena

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