Sun. May 22nd, 2022

By Samuel Strait – Reporter at Large – April 20, 2022

It was August of 1986 that then President Ronald Reagan uttered those
famous words as the most feared of all words spoken in the English
language.  Never more true today than it has been for hundreds of years,
Reagan had clearly understood the problems that a growing government was
to those it was meant to serve.  While that is only “history”, that has
constantly revisited locals in Del Norte County with increasing
regularity over the past several decades, it is a sharp lesson  in
governance that those in the Crescent City Harbor’s former RV parks will
learn to their collective dismay over the next eighteen to twenty four
months.

The Harbor Commissioners, while assuring their former tenants on bended
knees that they had only their best interests “at heart”, recently
delivered those interests to Alex Lemus and his redevelopment company
Renewable Energy.  While only indirectly at the mercy of the governing
Commission, tenants would be well advised to seek some form of
assistance to protect them from what will become a serious effort to
have them “relocated” by Mr. Lemus’s company in order to pursue plans to
redevelop both Bayside and Redwood Harbor Village RV parks.  The
renovation of the parks cannot be accomplished with those in residence
impeding the process. There are simply too many legal and procedural
opportunities for Lemus to remove tenants by “any means NECESSARY”.

His assurances of “everyone in good standing” is but the first step in
that process.  “Good standing” can mean many different things to
different people, but those tenants can be assured that their definition
will not be the same as Renewable Energy’s.  A time frame of 18 to 24
months is meaningless if there is “no place to be relocated to at any
time going forward”.  This is a crucial misunderstanding that the Harbor
Commission has with regard to those in the park that live in units
“unsuitable” for occupation of a spot in other RV parks.  What will
happen then?  Eviction is already a part of the landscape for seventeen
of the park’s tenants.  How many more will fall out of “good standing”
over the ensuing months which will allow Alex Lemus to pursue the
Commission”s “Monterey Bay” extravaganza?  “I represent Renewable Energy
and I’m here to help you.”

Lots of spin coming from both the Harbor Commission members and Mr.
Lemus about crime, troublemakers, derelict RV’s, working with each
tenant, yet no evidence that those being “pushed” to relocate have any
means of support to assure them that their rights are protected.   It is
one thing for the Harbor Commission to assure residents that they have
“factored in” any and all possible scenarios, yet that is but sophistry.
 Vague assurances that each tenant “will have a custom tailored plan”
to relocate, but the bottom line is that all eighty six current
occupants of both parks will have to move in the next two years.  This
does not seem to be anything but what it is.  The results of that adage
from Ronald Regan, the most feared nine words of all spoken in the
English language, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help”.
Clearly that is not to be the case.

The Harbor who is ultimately the party responsible for this impending
fiasco, has been busily working to escape any and all potential negative
outcomes.  Talk of “conflicts of interest” abound, inability for unhappy
tenants to bring suit against the harbor, and a papering over of their
responsibility for what will become a dramatic change for the current RV
park residents. Politics and money over people, sound familiar?

As much as it would be “nice” for the Harbor’s issue to go quietly into
the sunset, it is hardly likely to do so.  It is not unreasonable to
expect that a great deal of “resistance” to the idea that each tenant
will have a “plan” that is amenable to those that will be asked to
leave.  Eighty six individual “plans” are a lot to ask for, let alone
successful plans.  It then becomes a question of has the Harbor
Commission lived up to their pronouncements of doing what is best for
each and everyone of their former tenants?    Remember, we are talking
about government “help” here…

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