The truer facts


    Every time someone writes in defense of Christi Hogin, they have a comment about the mobile-home rent ordinance legal fiasco and invariably blame the whole sorry episode on Walter Keller and Carolyn Van Horn. Attorney Richard Scott, however, in his letter to the editor last week in his attempt to “set forth the facts rather than just allegations” gave it a new spin by including Missy Zeitsoff as their “partner.” I don’t intend to defend or condemn Christi Hogin, I am only going to state here what is documented on the events Mr. Scott covered, and let whoever reads this draw their own conclusions.

    First of all, as Mr. Scott knows very well, four (4) council members approved the ordinance, not just Walt and Carolyn. Michael Caggiano and Missy Zeitsoff completed the super majority vote. I doubt very much that Michael Caggiano considered himself a “partner”of Walt Keller and Carolyn Van Horn, and maybe that’s why Mr. Scott neglected to include his name. I can guarantee that Missy Zeitsoff would also take issue with being considered a “partner” as a reason for her vote. Larry Wan was the only one on that council who cast the only no vote, and is the only one who can claim no blame.

    I recall very well that petition attributed to the Paradise Cove Homeowners Board by Mr. Scott. I also recall that during the nine or 10 months the task force worked on revising the county’s rent ordinance and while the petition was being circulated just before the hearing, no one from Paradise Cove (board members or park residents who signed the petition including Mr. Scott) expressed any concern to the task force about any provisions of the county’s rent ordinance the task force was revising.

    It is true that the park owners threatened to sue if the ordinance contained the provision for rent recalculation provision, which, coincidentally the park owners first voiced the threat to sue at a task force meeting not long after City Attorney Michael Jenkins quietly removed the County’s Rent Ordinance from the final Municipal Code when it was adopted July 16, 1991. The origin of the base date for the Malibu ordinance recalculation provision was the Dec. 31, 1984, base date of the county ordinance.

    Mr. Scott alleges that Ms. Hogin had nothing to do with advocating that portion of the ordinance which led to the lawsuits and that City Attorney Michael Jenkins and Ms. Hogin “predicted” that the courts would overturn the proposed ordinance because of the Dec. 31, 1984 base date. However, Ms. Hogin in her Aug. 6, 1991, memo to the council stated, “I know of no legal reason that the city could not adopt a base date of Dec. 31, 1984 (the county’s base date) and adjust rents charged on that date according to the CPI formula.” Mr. Jenkins and Ms. Hogin advised the council at the December 1991, hearings to make the base date March 28, 1991, to avoid the task of gathering the necessary information to correctly recalculate the rents in Paradise Cove which were incorrect and had been challenged at the county level prior to incorporation.

    Ms. Hogin was assigned by the city attorney and the council to give the task force legal guidance. Many times, even after the ordinance was adopted, she voiced the opinion that even if the ordinance was challenged, it was legally “defensible.”

    Efrom Fader