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Jul 14th
Home Sections MiscellaNEWS Mayor Pro Tem Santarina Bats for Mobilehome-Park Residents
Mayor Pro Tem Santarina Bats for Mobilehome-Park Residents PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - MiscellaNEWS
Monday, 17 September 2007 11:34


Carson, CA – It was a glaring display of courage under fire. Carson Mayor Pro Tempore Elito Santarina withstood a barrage of threats, pressures and political gimmickry by casting the deciding vote last Sept. 04, 2007, which effectively saved senior citizens, veterans and fixed income families – all residents of the Carson Harbor Village Mobile Home Park (CHV) -- their basic plea for affordable housing.

The park owner wanted to subdivide the property to be purchased by the residents. But the proposal submitted failed to meet standards set by the City’s General Plan and did not initially have a genuine Survey of Support from the residents which State Law requires. The City Planning Commission rejected the proposal but was appealed to the Council by the owner.

Lawyers of the proponent sent numerous threatening letters ensuring that litigation would happen if the Council does not reconsider the Planning Commission’s recommendation. But Santarina stood pat on his commitment not to allow residents to be rendered homeless by the sudden increase in rent controls which is assumed to be the real reason for the proposal. "I spearheaded this issue to give the less privileged residents a continued sense of dignity and hope. As an elected official, I swore to uphold the Constitution and discharge the office for the interest of the people. In the final analysis, it became a question of legality and I based my vote clearly on the merits of the application and not on ‘politics’.

Santarina also authored the Mobile Home Park Conversion Moratorium Ordinance and subsequent extension which provides a 10-month status quo on all conversion applications. New legislation which would provide more regulatory powers to local government jurisdictions are now pending approval before the State Legislature.

Residents from both sides of the issue came in full force including lawyers for the Mobile Home Park Owner. A Filipina-American resident Elizabeth Saltz expressed her jubilation as the vote was cast. "Elito Santarina is truly a man of his word. He promised during the campaign that he would fight for affordable housing and he has delivered. This is why regardless of the mudslinging even from envious Filipinos whose only motive is politics; he still gets the people’s vote," she commented. Another resident Grace Follet responded by saying, "Elito is probably the most-transparent and sensitive to the people’s voice at the Council. I’m glad it went our way regardless of the blatant attempts by vested interests to intimidate him against doing what is right – he stood his ground and that is not politics but public service."

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 14:43

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