The Budget Motel Owner Vs the City of Eureka: You Be the Judge

Evicted resident with city Council member

Eureka City Council member Kim Bergel talking to resident who was being evicted. [All photos and video by Bobby Kroeker.]

Yesterday morning at 8 a.m., soon to be ex-tenants were scrambling to gather their belongings and move out of the Budget Motel. The City of Eureka had declared the motel uninhabitable. ordered the eviction of those living there and the building boarded shut. The former residents were helping each other pack, pile, and load belongings into cars or stack them in the parking lot. Below both sides offer their points of view but first a look at conditions government workers found when they arrived on scene.

City employees stated that the former onscene managers, Tiffany Taylor and her husband, had left. Consequently, there was no list of actual tenants so it was impossible to know how many tenants occupied rooms at the motel. People had approached the city employees with handwritten receipts for proof of residency at the hotel in order to receive assistance. The City was having to determine which were accurate.

A Eureka city worker gave us a “tour” of a couple of empty rooms.

The Budget Hotel owners, Ravindra Kushwaha and Amanda Kushwaha are legally responsible for providing relocation expenses of $1,600 per tenant as required by California Health and Safety Code 17975. In 2013, the Kushwaha’s were owners of a motel in Orrick that faced similar issues. (See that story by clicking here.)

We reached out to both sides of the eviction story for their response.

Below is a video with the owner’s complete response and we believe the unedited video is illuminating. However, here are the basic points Ravindra Kushwaha made yesterday in his defense from the office of his hotel:

  • He stated the “problem people” were coming from “outside” of the Hotel;  that the EPD is not doing their job.
  • The violations found a week ago are actually the violations from 2011 not new ones.
  • He blames the latest violations on the “in-house” manager Tiffany Taylor and her husband.
  • As for paying tenants the $1,600 to move, he “has not had time.” [Later that day, when asked if tenants were being given financial assistance to move, Paul Hewitt, general manager for Ravindra Kushwaha, responded ,”The city is taking care of that.”]
  • He believes that the general manager will live on site to get the repairs done .  (NOTE: The city turned off the gas; water and electricity to the property late yesterday so nobody will be able to “live onsite”)
  • He did not know where his tenants were going to live and his management team has been too busy fighting the court action to help with the tenants.
  • He believes that the city is doing this action so “a realtor can take it over for free.” Also that he had received an offer for the property during the court hearing.
  • That another “bad manager” in Lubbock, Texas had done some bad paperwork at that hotel and that is why there was a civil case against his wife there.

We think the raw unedited video is helpful and we’ve provided it below.

Brian Issa from Code Enforcement Program for the City of Eureka responded below with the city’s reasons for evicted the tenants and closing the motel. The complete video is below.

  • Sept 13th code violations similar from many years past.
  • Unsafe and unsanitary conditions, hazardous wiring, broken railings, fire hazards, broken windows, rotten structure elements, severe neglect of building.
  • Issa mentions city workers and contract workers being threatened by manager’s husband while trying to do work.
  • Onsite manager Tiffany Taylor reaction to current violations from last week was to deny that anything was wrong and had no knowledge of the violations.
  • One of two procedures will happen at the motel in the future: set amount of time to get permits to demolish the structure or complete plan set for renovation that includes a structural engineer, certified plumber and electrician.

So, what do you think?




    • Henchman Of Justice

      What is there to judge other than the city providing Danco a hit list of future properties the city eyes for redevelopment…..must be a older hotel thing using codes updated for newer buildings…..

      Collusion between city gubbamint and a local developer to squeeze out owners of older buildings that are situated upon prime real estate sites…….

      Note: HOJ’s scathing comments on Kym’s original story gets this action below, oddly ironic that the city is not allowing the owner to repair shit at this point, which shows the city is more than likely colluding with Dan Johnson of DANCO because ya see, the city says either demolish and build a new structure or remodel (renovate) to fuck over property rights by implementing unneccessary new codes when simply doing the carpenter repairs with replacing original with like original is an engineering waiver……the city wants to force new over priced and tax gouging construction to continue making housing less affordable by raising the base level costs of rent that also raises property tax values….has anyone, even the owner, been informed the city was going to demand what they now demand……cuz that would show some clarity too…

      The owner may be a slacker, but hit lists of properties being handed to developers behind the scenes and not open to public debate on such policy to maintain “hitlists” shows that brown act violations are not as bad as “lists”.

      Are these hit lists on the city website for all people to review, or is it just Dan Johnson who has his fingers in lined pockets? Curious ordeal.

      ~ “One of two procedures will happen at the motel in the future: set amount of time to get permits to demolish the structure or complete plan set for renovation that includes a structural engineer, certified plumber and electrician.”

      • Honeydew Bridge Chump

        Good point, local government is always dirty and into extortion, theft, and scams.

        The people from the motel should be housed in city hall.

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Surprised people who support Betty Chin and others for community outreach and aide, or the city and businesses who conspire together in a supposedly positive manner would not help out local hotels and motels with maintenance, light repairs, electrical, plumbing, etc….

      The container village and other “remedies” and community bbq’s to help the poor and Eurekan’s who engage in these community outreach activities shun hotels and motels which provide housing to the lowest of income earners……donate to kids $15 k for a playground, but anything for undesireables is too much a task.

      Just another viewpoint to consider for a solution to housing issues for the poorest of any community…..and at some point, gubbamint must stop lumping everyones lifestyle standards into the same likenesses…..people live like slobs, owners of motels and hotels are not creating the environment, but are responsible for basic upkeep, but should not be forced to do things when health code violation application is over enforced .

      Charging the tenant extra rent for damaging lifestyle choices and actions is a seperate issue.

  • Eureka City Council Housing Last Program is working beautifully!

  • That video is pretty fucked up. Yea…. Its gross. But going into someones gross living quarters isnt news. That is gossipy intrusive bullshit. Next, Kym investigates behind peoples refrigerators.

    • You must be a troll. Kym reports news and many people becoming homeless from closing a problem hotel owned by people that have committed similar crimes running another hotel is news, duh. How many more people are living on the streets now? Just because you consider serious civil rights issues like this “gossip” doesn’t make it true.

    • That video shows the inside of a motel that is being shut down for health violations. Bobby our reporter was invited in by the owner. I’m sorry you find it gossipy. I find video showing the conditions in the motel and speaking to the owner of the motel important indications of what is happening there.

      • Why did he say the people who lived there had places to go because i know 90% of them didnt and im a family of 6 and still have no where to go now that the 1600 is gone at 100 a day at another motel because i dont make 3 times the rent and mqke to much to be on welfare what happens to us my 4 kids witch one is newborn what r we going to do

    • Yes. Kym needs to post c.a.m.p activity instead

  • I feel for the residents, really I do; however 5 years and some of the same violations have never been taken care of is a huge problem, hopefully mr”k” will now have the time and make the effort to put the motel back to code or sell it off either way the time has come, good luck to all involved.

  • How can the city cut off the power and water to a apartment ? If I did that with my renters I would be sued. What gives ?

    • If your rental was deemed uninhabitable by the city then no, you would not get sued. They were legally evicted for safety reasons and they don’t leave utilities on condemned boarded up buildings.

      • Henchman Of Justice

        Ah, but there is only a “current hit list of 13 properties the city is giving Danco.”

        Danco wants to buy up these properties.

        City shuts em down first.

        Is your property on another list?

        Is your property even on a list?

        Ya, collusion comes to mind…..

  • I think you’re homeless already if you are living in a motel.

  • Stayed there one night, many years ago — was cheapest in town, and it showed. Nothing horrible, just dingy, with dripping faucets, cigarette burns everywhere, and that special cheap motel smell. Looks like it hasn’t improved with age — if anything it looks like it’s gone downhill.

    When I hear that some of the occupants have been living there for years, my mind boggles at what a grim existence that must have been. I hope they can find better living situations, and can get help to address whatever problems had led them to such dire straits.

    I predict the building will be bulldozed — without income coming in from rents, it’s all liability and with no upside. The land is obviously worth something. Would be great if the site could be turned into some good-quality affordable housing, but almost anything — including a vacant lot — would be less of an eyesore than it is right now, or will be as a boarded-up derelict building.

    Glad to hear the city isn’t going to let the owner get away with a superficial fix-up, and will require either a full rehab, or demolition. And I realize this is a “snap judgement,” but I just don’t see that owner actually going to the trouble of a full rehab. My guess is he’ll just walk away, getting whatever he can for the property in its current condition. Basically it’s worth whatever a vacant lot in that location would be worth, minus the cost of demolition, etc.

    • They still haven’t done anything with the one on broadway by bowling alley

    • Agree! Bulldoze these slums to the ground! This was disgusting! Filth and urine! Roaches and rats! Poor or homeless doesn’t need to be an excuse for being disgusting! I NEVER see the dog crap being picked up by the owners as they walk their dogs. These people don’t give a crap about others and expect a handout! If you don’t give it to them, They will take t! I’m sickened by everything I see! If anyone has a problem with my comments, why don’t you invite one of these folks into your home. Let them hang out with your kids. In your neighborhoods!

  • So the violations at his Green valley motel in Orick wernt his fault. The violations at his hotel in Lubbock Texas wernt his fault. The violations at the Budget hotel wernt his fault…. Notice a pattern here? Has anyone checked to see if he owns any more residential hotels? If so, what condition are those in??

    • He owns quite a few from what I found Villa Lodge in Urbandale IA (condemned), Crown Motel in Pine Bluff AR and Rose Garden in Ridgecrest CA. And from the pics I saw none of them are any better!

  • Here’s a link to videos taken at the Budget a few years ago. Just as slimy as todays. Slum Lord is too kind a term for a landlord that charges rent to live in these conditions. It’s been a long journey to get this place shut down. More of these slums need to be removed and replaced with affordable housing, businesses or just green space.

  • I could never be a landlord, due to a soft heart. Landlords can’t let payments slide, no matter the hard luck story. They must continuously pour back into maintanence & regulations, insurance & taxes. Renters don’t always understand this, & tend to hate on the landlord. This landlord is loved by the renters and despised by the community. It’s a shame things got so bad. At least the slumlord isn’t boasting a rolex watch & the latest & greates fashion designer clothes.
    Expect a new stack & pack development, with “affordable” $2000.00 per month leases. Permit requirements signed off ahead of time.
    I’m glad it’s closed, don’t get me wrong. I’m relieved the tenents found other rentals. But I am furious that it came to this.
    Why didn’t the city and landlord find a mediator, a no interest loan, plus a team of qualified laborers who work for experience and for the homeless communities.
    The city managers sure know how to get the money they want for the projects they want, just saying.

    • Henchman Of Justice


      Is it possible that the city has a position on squalor, homelessness, scuzbagginess, etc…in a form that suggests to get rid of these undesireables is to get rid of all possible living spaces.

      Getting rid of older, non historic buildings gets rid of undesireables because older buildings are not required to be updated to new codes unless a complete redo is applied for. Increase rent, increase number of undesireables who can’t afford rent……the gubbamint assistance gets created, adjusted for higher colas and viola, the city gets tax dollars to subsidize the poor and be able to have more money to play with, using taxes to maintain rather than an individuals own biproduct of labor……how many hotels, motels get the luxury of tax dollar assistance for the poor so that the owner of the hotel, motel can raise rates and still get paid…..

      This smells like collusion.

      The city is no longer going to allow fix its……it is either a complete construction project of new, either remodel or tear down and build…….plus, the city forces tax dollars into public infrastructure improvements otherwise not provided if the original building is fixed, maintained…..

      This is really no different than the North Dakota pipelines emminent domain, except that the maneuver is to force a private to private developer sale (developer will do what gubbamint wanted to do through eminant domain had the city used ED), versus gubbamint taking it outright (ED)…..and where is Kim Bergel and the city council writing a letter standing up for local property rights???

      Ya, she leads a collusive city gubbamint here at home, but flips roles for North Dakotans ….. wth…..

      • HOJ, you summed that up quite well, & I agree with you.
        When develpers build stack & packs, they can skip permits.
        When typical building owner wants to renovate or build, they have to jump through unimaginable hoops. The newest hoop is Zero Net. The building must be completely zero toxic. Laughable. Unexcusable. Coming soon to a zoning near you. Already in place elsewhere.

  • Hell, life seemed better at the Devil’s Playground.

  • Right now Squires is thinking, “phew, glad the city is fucking with this guy and not me.”

  • The owner just wants to point fingers at someone else and don’t want to take the blame at all. If he would of taken care of the problems right at first then none of this would of happened. The owner is the only person to blame.

  • Ravindra Kushwaha and Amanda Kushwaha better get their building plans and permit filed real soon or the place will out of their hands.

  • Anyone remember the two girls who had their throats slit there.

  • the misadventures of bunjee

    Wow. This mess is straight out of a scene from Kinpin, minus a washed up pro bowler.

    This guy makes one excuse after another. He sure keeps a tight grip on that bottle. And who’s the Grizzly Adams guy next to him helping to bury the mess?

  • “Yesterday morning at 8 a.m., soon to be ex-tenants were scrabbling” – shouldn’t they be busy moving there stuff out instead of playing board games? XD oh come on guys you know that was funny.

  • Shame shame on that so called owner!!so fuckin lazy,so gross,those people rented filth.this guy and the other slumlord,squires should be together somewhere else!!you can’t make them stay in there own filth,they are already!!both of these asshats,eat shit and die!!!

    • Henchman Of Justice

      The people lived in conditions they created within the rooms….

      Broken picket on a guardrail was broken by use of the site, so fix it and charge higher rents……but that is what part of this messy homelessness issue is about…….lower rents in olser buildings keepa more people off the streets.

      HOJ lived in a turn of the century cabin that was far worse than this hotel……personal choice for the freedom and liberty to live on thy own understanding minimum wage paid jackshit and nicer places were too much monthly rent because newer buildings defacto get higher rents……

      Doubt the owner caused inside conditions, and can’t imagine an owner constantly removing a tenant to clean out the pig stall, move back in the tenant, to just remove and move in over and over.

      People live in conditions “they create” in these scenarios……

      Did any tenants claim they were held against there will and forced to pay rent….. like topless titty trimmers are storyingly forced to provide sex?

      Stories versus hipocrisies……the owner does have culpability, but some of the other behind the scenes stuff is highly questionable and of major concern to all of us regarding land use and land takings that skirt Emminent Domain law by forcing a sale to the city’s preferred developer because the city did not want to look like the big bad evil gubbamint using emminant domain for economic purposes……

  • Oh ya,And Tiffany Taylor did u work their with blinders on?how can you be a manager and not see what’s going on?really..

  • Strikes me as a balanced account and — from the statements as presented, think a case could be made for either side. Of course, there’s that tedious truism — the devil’s in the detail. Still, Sunday sermonizing aside, hard to imagine motel conditions worse than conditions on the street. A four word sign held by a homeless person seems to catch the spirit of the thing — “Everyone deserves a home.”

  • Not only should his motels be shut down but the owner should be charged with maintaining a residence, how much crank and smack do you think gets runs through this place?

  • So help me out here. Ol Nat left his glasses in the van. You know the one, “DOWN BY THE RIVER”! Is that person in the video? ya know the one sittin in the chair. Is that Clinton or Trump? Everyone says their different. But without my glasses it’s hard to tell. Any’hoo, I think this is the way our next President is gonna talk after the election. And remember, unless my 3rd x-wife shows up, because “I AM THRICE DEVORST!” There’s only room for one “WHEN YOUR LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER”!

  • Holiday Inn Express: opposite of a shithole.

  • I think they should tear down all the slum hotels in Eureka. If you own the properties and want rentals then build rentals that are up to health and safety codes. If the tenants took the landlords to court, I think they could successfully get a judgement and property lein against their slumlords.

  • Nasty slumlord. I’m sure he made Bank and will not pay his tenants- they should all put liens on his other properties, and who knows, maybe someday those liens would be settled.

    I feel bad fr the tenants having to leave. It will probably be boarded up for years and squatters will move in.

  • Seems the Budget was
    Was helping the City of Eureka by providing homeless acomodations, it seems the City of Eureka would rather to have these folks in one place under one roof that can be patrolled rather than running amok throughout the city. Private property rights obviously ignored by the City of Eureka in their quest for “law and order”. Not such the friendly city…

  • outinthecountry

    I stumbled on this article after reading a list of “Motels You Might Get Murdered In”. Ha. : /
    It is really fascinating to me as a lifelong poor person to see how other poor people get along. Now, granted, I am in control of my own bowels and have never been addicted to drugs or alcohol and I don’t have any brain disorders. But I have spent my whole life on a tiny budget, in illegal apartments or buses or basements or motor homes. And I can tell you the I am the type of poor person who busts her ass to make her living spaces immaculate. I lived in the back of a garage in a spot that was originally meant to be a laundry room. Had a big porcelain sink and hot and cold water and electricity. I turned it into a beautiful, clean, peaceful home with fabrics on the walls, a small kitchen, curtains- it was wonderful. Because i made it that way.
    Being poor is no reason to be a slob, or live in filth. My mother taught me well that way. We were always poor but with clean clothes, and a car that worked. She had pride and passed it on to me. We had gardens, I make things, if i need something to hang on the wall I make collages and put branches in vases and find furniture on the street. I am really good on living on little, and I never understand anyone’s excuses for living in filth beyond being absolutely paralyzed and alone. If I wound up being absolutely unable to avoid living in filth I would blow my head off. Literally.
    Owner should have reduced the rent in exchange for residents putting in time to do the carpentry work and fixing shit that needs to take place. Put a ten buck bag of diatemaceous (spelling?) earth down in each room- it kills cockroaches and bed bugs.

  • I worked at both hotels from 2004-2006 when we left. I was the maid and it was run down then. At the time only certain rooms had roaches, that’s when we were spraying and letting off bombs. We took so many of the issues to David but he never allowed us to make changes. At the time Jeff and Donna Cleveland were the hotel managers and we tried to make the hotel better. I did a lot of sink repairs and I used to actually clean rooms, wash the walls, clean the carpets and make them as decent and livable as I could. I miss so many of yew people there and wish I could find them now. That’s the reason we stayed because the friends we made. But it was no place to raise kids at and I became ill with rheumatoid arthritis and we had to move back home. We had found a house in arcata but I was so bad that we made the decision to move back to Illinois. David knew the problems at the hotels long before any of this happened and it’s a shame, not all of us were junkies or running from the law, some of us were merely California dreaming and trying to live the life in one of the most beautiful places in the world. My husband worked at Brio breadworks. I hope that place is still awesome as ever? Anyways I digress, if anyone lived there in that time period find me on Facebook Erin Driskell Ireland I’d love to hear from you.

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