Comrades Pat Burt (Palo Alto Mayor) and Joe Simitian (Santa Clara County Supervisor) are buying votes again with with your money (County and Federal tax dollars) as they fight to keep a dangerous slum in Palo Alto.
The slum, is the Jisser family’s Buena Vista mobile home park which the Jissers would like to sell after owning and running it for decades. The property was destined to become a safe, new, beautiful housing development.
Political hound dogs smell votes
The Jisser family even agreed to a crazy generous buy-out of every resident in the mobile home park. But once the lawyers and the ‘mobile homers’ smelled easy money they couldn’t resist shaking down the Jisser family for even more and so they sued the Jissers again.
The smell of money even attracted the attention of local politicians, sniffing all kinds of opportunity, votes, publicity, money, favors.
Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt, County Supervisor Joe Simitian and (Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara) executive Katherine Harass want to solve other people’s problems by sticking their noses in other people’s business, taking the Jisser Family’s land and establishing a permanent slum in Palo Alto. Of course, they will call it ‘affordable housing.’ They will say they are ‘fighting for the children.’
They may even wrap themselves in flags and strut around with their thumbs in the air. But Simitian does not own this property and neither does Katherine Harass, Pat Burt or the mobile homers.
The property belongs to the Jisser family. The Jissers bought and paid for it and have born the responsibility of running it for years. One of the premiere benefits and privileges of living in the United States is that we can own land, manage, and develop it for our own benefit and thus often for the benefit of our families and others. Land is the foundation of private wealth in America. It’s the American dream.
But Pat Burt, Joe Simitian and Katherine Harass are conjuring up a nightmare as they know better what to do with someone else’s property. Simitian, Burt and Harass also know that there are a couple hundred potential votes in the mobile home park and lots of good publicity for them in this fight.
All property homeowner are in jeopardy
But what if Simitian wanted your house for a ‘good cause?’ Santa Clara County could take your property thru ‘Eminent Domain,’ if it could prove that ‘the taking’ served the whole community in some way. And you would have to hire a lawyer to fight the County’s claim.
In the Jisser family case, the greater good is really just for the people in the Buena Vista mobile home slum, not the people of Palo Alto or Santa Clara County. Eminent Domain is a threat, it’s the crushing power of the State to ram thru a raw deal and take away someone’s property.
The City and County have land, parks, old schools and buildings. If the City or County really wanted to build affordable housing it could. But it’s easier to meet the City’s goals and inflate the reputation of Pat Burt,
Joe Simitian and Katherine Harass by ripping off the Jisser family and taking the Jisser’s land with legal mumbo jumbo. Meanwhile, the City and County look the other way as developers build bigger and uglier all over Palo Alto and Silicon Valley.
Slum dog millionaires
If you want a ‘visual feast’ for the eyes, drive thru Buena Vista Mobile home park at 3980 El Camino Real Palo Alto. I guarantee you will lock your car doors and roll up the windows.
You might run over an empty 40 oz. Or hit an illegal. Loosen up, it’s a slum. You’ll be wondering what this ‘beef’ is really all about.
My guess is that creating this ‘new’ slum will take pressure off of the City’s favorite developers to build affordable housing and thus enable the ‘good times to roll’ as the ‘big and rich’ continue to build whatever they want everywhere else in town.
The Buena Vista Park should be demolished and the owners allowed to sell their land to whoever wants to buy it. That’s the American way. The mobile home residents will do what people have done for thousands of years, they will use their own minds to figure out a better place to live.
In other words, they will stand on their own two feet and in the long run, they will be stronger and better off without the government crutch to lean on, making them dependent and weak.