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Help John Meyer’s family survive being railroaded

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In June 2020, just after Covid started, I was contacted by Robert Pinole - President of Mendocino Railway, also known as the skunk train - who offered me $450 to $500,000 for my property in Willits. I looked for a property to replace it and was unable to find a property in Willits of equivalent value. I explained this to Robert and offered to sell him my propertyfor 1.5 million to which he replied the property was not worth that much. I was then contacted by Mike Hart (CEO of parent company Sierra Railroad) and when I refused his offer he indicated to me that he would get the property appraised at $350,000 and take it through Eminent Domain. They were able to get it appraised at exactly $350,000 and filed the action against my property on December 22, 2020.

 Fast forward to April 2022. We finally got the site plan (a document which I originally requested in 2020)and found out that they actually wanted to take my property and turn it into a campground with a passenger loading station for the excursion train. When my lawyer informed them that it would be illegal to take my property through Eminent Domain and turn it into a private campgrounds they quickly switched their story and days before our trial started came up with a new map showing a transloading facility on my property. Mendocino railways claims they are a public utility and a freight train moving goods between Willits and Fort Bragg. Robert Pinole also stated under oath that their freight cars can hold four semi trucks of cargo/freight and can be loaded in a half an hour. These claims have both been shown to be false.

 I could’ve started this fund raising 2 1/2 years ago but chose not to because I assumed Mendocino railways would come to me with a reasonable offer which I would have accepted and I did not want to take money from my community and then turn around and take an offer. Now it is clear that is not the case. This case will set precedents and needs a judgment.  


 I don’t want to stop the excursion trains from operating I’m trying to stop the owners from there illegal and abusive use of power but it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight them and this has been happening countrywide with excursion trains over the last 30+ years and as far as I know this case will set precedents for the future and possibly the past. With your help, we can make sure other families do not have to go through what my family has gone through.

Thank you all for your time and consideration.Please share this with friends and family
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  • Roff Barnett
    • $50 
    • 7 mos
  • Rhoda Teplow
    • $25 
    • 7 mos
  • Barbara Ives
    • $50 
    • 7 mos
  • Anonym
    • $10 
    • 7 mos
  • Diane Clouse
    • $10 
    • 7 mos
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Spendenteam: Team fundraiser (2)

John Meyer
Organisator
Willits, CA
Steffany Almeida
Team member

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