• a clip from a law section superimposed on city hall building

      Individuals Who Challenged the Law Should Not Be on the Pasadena Rental Housing Board (Photo – Graphics Dept.)

      Judge Mary Strobel’s ruling in California Apartment Association, et. al. vs. City of Pasadena, et. al. on March 28 was a resounding victory for our majority-renter city.

      By Editorial Board

      Dozens of tenants have reported that their landlords have refused to honor the requirements of Article XVIII of the Pasadena City Charter (which became effective on Dec 22, 2022).  The landlords cite the pending lawsuit. The lawsuit expressly does not block the immediate applicability of the law. The petitioners had asked the court for a temporary restraining order to stop implementation immediately; Judge Strobel denied their request, but that fact did not stop landlords from making false claims and scaring tenants into retreat.

      Even now, many landlords are unable to accept that tenants finally have some protections against predatory landlords. Notably, three of the five landlords named as petitioners in the California Apartment Association lawsuit—Ahni Dodge, Simon Gibbons, and Tyler Werrin—have applied for seats on the Rental Housing Board. The Pasadena City Council is due to make the appointments on April 17.

      Purpose of the Rental Housing Board

      The purpose of the Rental Housing Board is to set regulations, hear appeals, and provide for the enforcement of Article XVIII. The court upheld the specific composition of the Board—seven seats for tenants (one from each council district) and four at-large seats.

      It is the at-large seats that these three landlords are seeking. They want us to believe that they will act in the best interests of the City of Pasadena and its residents–especially its tenants–when they have just tried to overturn the law which was passed by a majority of voters. Will they now suddenly support the full implementation of the law?

      Party to ongoing litigation

      The California Apartment Association has said that it is keeping its options open with regard to an appeal. Therefore, it is a party to ongoing litigation. The City of Pasadena’s Measure H website reads, “The litigation is still pending.” The petitioners have not accepted that Measure H is the law of Pasadena, and they still are involved in trying to stop it.

      Ahni Dodge, Simon Gibbons, and Tyler Werrin want us to believe that they can be good faith participants in a Board whose role it is to act fairly and impartially, a Board which they are presently seeking to overturn in court. The City Council should reject the applications of all three of these plaintiffs. How can they reasonably be trusted to work on behalf of a successful Rental Housing Board?

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      1. Jonathan Colby says:

        Thank you for this article that draws attention to this important issue. The landlords who sought to strike down Measure H are attempting a devious and transparent power grab to gut the law from the inside, by applying to the Rental Board.

        While I think it’s fair for landlords to serve on the Rental Board, because landlords should have a voice in these matters – these 3 people should not be appointed to the Rent Board, because they have demonstrated an extreme level of bias against Measure H and have a clear conflict of interest, due to their lawsuit to stop enforcement of Measure H.

        Any City Councilmember who nominates any of the 3 individuals who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit to block enforcement of Measure H, should be voted out of office, in my opinion.

        Four Councilmembers are up for re-election next year in 2024: Tyron Hamption (District 1), Felicia Williams (District 2), Gene Masuda (District 4), and Steve Madison (District 6).

        Voters will be watching who the Councilmembers nominate to the Rent Board, and will hold them accountable in the next election, if they nominate any of the lawsuit plaintiffs mentioned in this article. I trust our Councilmembers will make the right decision to honor the will of the voters and act to protect the rights of renters, by ensuring none of the these plaintiffs are nominated to the Rent Board.

        I encourage my fellow residents of Pasadena to sign a petition that calls upon the Pasadena City Council not to appoint these 3 individuals who sued to strike down the Measure H rent control law, to the Rental Housing Board:

        (at ipetitions.com: protect-pasadena-measure-h-rent-control-law-tell)

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