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