About 180 people attended a City Council meeting Tuesday to call for rent control in their La Veta Avenue mobile home park, and the council responded to their pleas by forming a task force to attempt to resolve the dispute.
The tenants of Creekside Mobile Home Park argued that a proposed 9.5% rent increase is unfair for the residents, many of whom are seniors on fixed incomes. "This is serious," resident Tom Sparks said. "We've got to have some help."
Frank Holloway, an agent representing the park owners, noted that the park was purchased last year and about $60,000 has been spent to make repairs as requested by the tenants.
He said many residents had engaged in a yearlong rent strike against the previous owners. "I have a feeling that a lot of the animosity to the prior owner has been transferred to us," he said.
The council directed City Atty. Furman B. Roberts to set up a task force composed of tenant representatives, Holloway, members of the Orange-based Dispute Resolution Center and Bill Mecham of Western Mobile Home Assn., a park owners group.
The task force's progress is to be reported weekly to the council.