VIDEO Introducing MH/OSTA

OSTA Chat Room
There wasn’t room in the next issue of The OSTA Quarterly Review for the Chat Room, so why don’t we chat here on the blog? Send your responses and we’ll publish them!—Jane
Topic: Two national organizations, The Center for Enterprise Development and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are promoting Children’s Savings Accounts. What did you learn about money as a child?
When I was in elementary school in Connecticut we would bring money in a special envelope each week to add to our special Savings account program.  It was recorded in a sort of passbook.  My earliest recollection was in 3rd grade.  My mom used to put the “bank book” and maybe 50 cents in the envelope and I would take it to school.  Then all I remember is we would get the book back and we’d do it again the next week.  I’m sure my parents had the banking information. I would liken it to perhaps a Christmas savings account type of thing. —Nancy Inglehart, Bellacres MHP, Gresham
People from my age group (70 and older) I feel, all seem to know the value of money more that the now, younger generation. We learned early from our parents to start saving for retirement. I guess we were taught to stay within a budget and save any extra money we had. My wife and I bought used furniture for our first home and bought a product called Fab Spray which was a fabric spray paint that brought back the color in furniture fabrics. I think my generation was a time when a people valued their possessions more and didn't over spend like now days. Now it has to be NEW, whatever it is. Car, furniture, home appliances etc. —Terry Smith, Miller Estates, Central Point
I give my great grandkids two envelopes, one with cash to spend and one with 10% for saving. I've provided their parents with copies of "The Richest Man in Babylon" by George S. Clawing (1926), which describes the method of saving 10% of any income and never spending it. Practiced over a lifetime, this leads to wealth. 
We pay the kids for house- and yard-work and have set up credit union (not bank) savings accounts. They can invest their savings as they see fit, hopefully in a million dollar startup of their own devising. We're hoping a couple of the eldest, now 10 years old, will get started soon and save us old folks from retirement beneath a bridge. –Bill Halderman, Golden Oaks, Springfield
I forgot that I helped my two girls learn about money, first by starting savings accounts for them when they were little and showing them the balances when money was put into their accounts so they could see the balances increase as an incentive. And then one year, for a Christmas present, I got them an appointment with a financial planner. I recall it wasn't what they had in mind from Santa but they have, over the years, mentioned the "present".  Often in recalling things that mom did to them!  But since they were in college it seemed like it was time they had an experience like that.  And it paid off.  Pun intended. —Carol Hanrahan, President of Shadow Ranch OSTA Chapter

When I got a job at Bridgeman’s, a soda fountain and dairy store in Duluth, my father taught me how to make change, something we girls had to do quickly on warm summer nights when people lined up for ice cream cones or sat at the counter for malts and sundaes or stood at the cash register for milk and hand-packed quarts of ice cream. I was never taught how to make change in school, and as far as I can tell from shopping today, kids still aren’t taught that skill. “Making Change” could be a fast game to play with grandkids and it could serve them well if they’re ever without one of their electronic gadgets. Just have handy some pennies, nickels, dimes, and maybe a couple of quarters, and if you’re feeling flush, use some folding money, too. Say something like, “Okay, honey, you just sold me a package of Gummie Bears that cost 47 cents. Here’s a dollar. Count my change back to me.”
Child hands you three pennies, one at a time, and says, “48, 49, 50.” Then child gives you two dimes and says, “60, 70,” and a nickel, and says, “75,” and finally a quarter and say, “a dollar.” That’s making change. For a little extra math, teach them how to play “Cribbage,” too.  —Jane Capron, OSTA Review editor, SongBrook MHP, Eugene

Because so many Committees of Seven in manufactured home parks seen to have difficulty understanding how their committee should proceed, we're printing the wording of this state statute with our guidelines. Please, if you have questions, either contact your district director or OSTA to invite one of us to attend your committee meeting to offer suggestions before you send your letter to the park owner requesting one of your two yearly meetings. We want to offer our help so you can be successful. Remember that the owner doesn't have to respond to individual letters from the park residents, but by law the owner is required to respond to the committee. 

Ch. 90.600 Committee of Seven

Chapter 90.600(5) (a) reads as follows: “The tenants who reside in a facility may elect one committee of seven or fewer members in a facility-wide election to represent the tenants….Upon written request from the tenants’ committee, the landlord or a representative of the landlord shall meet with the com-mittee within 10 to 30 days of the request to discuss the tenants’ non-rent concerns regarding the fa-cility. Unless the parties agree otherwise, upon a request from the tenants’ committee, a landlord or representative of the landlord shall meet with the tenants’ committee at least once, but not more than twice, each calendar year….After the meeting, the tenants’ committee shall send a written summary of the issues and concerns addressed at the meeting to the landlord…[who] shall make a good faith response in writing to the committee’s summary within 60 days.”
Keep written records
Insist that residents write out and sign their grievances. You can promise not to divulge identities, of course. You don’t want a later backlash, where someone says, “That wasn’t me who complained. I never said that.”
Insist that your committee members respect the privacy of those who complain. What goes on in the committee meetings should stay within the committee. The chair might provide an overview to the homeowners, but no names should be mentioned.
Prepare a list of goals based on complaints gathered from residents. Study the complaints, grouping them as much as possible, and ranking them as to importance to all residents. Try to word your list in a positive way, that is, for example, don’t say, “The manager should stop being so nasty.” Better to say, “We’d like a pleasant relationship between management and residents.”
Negotiate with management which of the goals on your written list they will consider. The negotiation will be give and take, involving discussion and no accusations. For example: one goal might be for the manager and residents to be more pleasant to each other. If management can agree that pleasant working relationships are desirable, then the committee and management can discuss together how to make that possible. Another goal might be to prevent speeding within the park. If management agrees that’s a worthwhile goal, everyone can discuss ways to prevent speeding.
Prepare a written list of negotiated goals and suggestions for achieving them for management and committee members to study. If there have to be personal complaints, they should also be offered in writing so that they can be clearly understood by everyone in the meeting (the person being accused needs to have a written copy of the allegation in order to defend him- or herself)
Expect management to respond in writing to the prepared list of goals within 60 days. If the response does not address issues to the committee’s satisfaction, contact OSTA and the Manufactured Community Resource Center at 1-800-453-5511 for mediation services.

A sample letter to your owner requesting a meeting with the Committee follows:
Re: Property Rights and Transactions—Title 10, Chapter 90.600 of the Oregon State Statutes
The members of the XYZ Mobile Home Park Committee of Seven were duly elected on (date), and are
______________________ , chair,
______________________, secretary

Let us know a convenient time for you to meet with us.   __________________________(signed)