An initiative aimed at repealing most of Carson’s ordinance on mobile home rent control suffered a setback this week when a Superior Court judge ruled that petitions lacked enough valid signatures to bring a vote.
“There isn’t going to be any election,” said Carson City Atty. Glenn Watson, who argued in court against the initiative. “They appeal or they start over and do it right.”
Watson said that Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs ruled Tuesday that representatives of a group of mobile home park owners improperly began circulating the petitions before the petitions were published as a legal advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in Carson.
The ruling invalidated 182 signatures, Watson said. As a result, he said, the number of valid signatures collected was about 200 short of the 3,892--10% of Carson registered voters--required to put the measure on the ballot.
Mobile home park owners had contended that the signatures were valid because the petition had been published in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. But Watson said the Herald Examiner is a newspaper of general circulation only in Los Angeles--not in Carson.
The ballot measure would limit rent control in mobile home parks to residents meeting federal poverty guidelines.
John Slezak, an attorney for the mobile home park owners, said he did not know whether an appeal would be filed. “Those are genuine signatures of Carson voters, and we believe they should have been counted,” he said.