The following is a report from GSMOL President, Michelle Smith, on the San Jose Regional Mobilehome Owners Conference.

After 3+ hours of driving down from Placerville on Friday, 6/29/18, I checked into the hotel where Treasurer, Shelly Parker, and I shared a room. I arrived early so I headed out to pick up Shelly at the San Jose Airport. Everything went smoothly and after Shelly unpacked, we met Zone A-1 VP Dick Heine and Contempo Marin MHP GSMOL President, Cynthia Long, for dinner. We all stayed at the Dolce Hayes Mansion, a historical landmark turned into a lovely hotel, and very reasonably priced to stay.

The next morning Cynthia, Shelly, and I left early so we stopped at a friendly breakfast restaurant to bring a fresh cooked sustenance to energize ourselves and prepare to forthe conference at the Southside Community Center in San Jose. There were smiling faces moving tables and chairs and setting up literature and putting out sign in sheets. There were literally dozens of home-baked muffins of every conceivable flavor in open boxes with labels and napkins close by. It didn’t occur to us there would be such delectable delights already there and ready to eat with a nice cup of coffee.

I looked around and asked for Martha. There she was, my campaign manager. You see, Martha O’Connell helped me win the Presidency of GSMOL by providing her wise advice and solid experience to get out and talk to members, collect ballots in hand, andshare my ideas about transparency and reorganization. It worked! And now I finally hadthe chance to meet my biggest supporter in person. It was such a joy!

Martha was the MC and introduced Shelly and I to the audience. We presented and then made way for GSMOL’s legislative advocate, Esperanza Ross. She was full of good energy and enthusiastically told the audience about crossing over the hurdle to get AB3066 moved through the Senate Judiciary Committee in time to move it forward…that’s the legislation GSMOL is sponsoring to get HCD funding to actually enforce the MRL…Mobile Residency Laws (Civil codes). What a win that will be!!

The Keynote Speaker was next and WOW, what an excellent speaker he was. San Jose City Councilman Sergio Jimenez is dedicated to affordable housing and clearly seems mobile home living as a critical component. His personal experience clearly led
him to becoming an advocate for people who need a safe place to live. We are very fortunate to have Councilmember Jimenez as a supporter of GSMOL’s goals to preserve and protect mobile/manufactured homes.

Next up was lunch on our own. We joined Dick and Cynthia again for a good lunch andreturned for the next presenter, GSMOL’s Corporate Counsel, Bruce Stanton. Audience participation really contributes to the richness of the presentation about the MRL. So many good questions were answered and I believe everyone learned a great deal. Bruce is such a good speaker.

After a short break, we got to see an excellent presentation from Dave Loop, our Resident Owned Community Vice President, along with an informative Power Point display. Dave’s information was well received and sparked lots of good comments and conversations. We continued the discussions during the next break as we prepared for the last presenter from HCD.

Henry Green was an HCD rep who transferred from Riverside to Sacramento so he had lots of good information about the So. Cal. region. I didn’t realize manufactured housing parks were still being formed but they are in Southern California! Dave Loop asked for a list of the new parks so we can keep track and Henry gladly responded thathe will email the list. There were lots of questions about what changes in our homes require permits, handouts about the Mobilehome Assistance Center, and plenty of information about the Mobilehome Registration and Titling fee and tax waiver program the State will run through December, 2019.

At the end, people were congratulated for putting on such an excellent program and busy hands cleared the chairs and tables, then we were on our own. Dick Heine and Cynthia Long left for home, and fortunately, Glenna Howcroft and Martha O’Connell joined Shelly and I for dinner. We had some great conversations and “decompressed” from our busy and exciting day. It was great to have some quiet time to share.

Shelly and I retired early since we needed to have a good breakfast, drive to the airport, and send Shelly into the air to return to Oceanside. I had a 3 hour drive home but to my great luck, most of the heavy traffic flowed against me so I was home by 2pm. What a great adventure this was and I’m so thankful to the wonderful GSMOL members, and new members, from San Jose.

Many people contributed to our “Pay off the Debt Campaign”, renewed their memberships, and even new members joined. Again, we thank the wonderful San Josearea members for a great conference!

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