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Don’t Believe a Single Word From Harmony Communities

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Harmony Commuties reveals its true colors by assigning a crude, fictional name and fake photo to a person answering media questions. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Not everyone wants to talk to the media.

David Taub

Opinoin

Politicians, business leaders, and many others sometimes have reason to dodge scrutiny. Some ignore requests for comments. Others are polite enough to officially say “no comment.”

Then, there is Harmony Communities, the controversial manager of several Fresno-area mobile home parks.

Harmony’s handling of Trails End (now called La Hacienda) was heavily in the news last year. Residents worried about what a new owner with a less-than-stellar reputation would bring. Several court cases in eviction court gave them the answer.

The Business Journal asked Harmony questions and received correspondence from Heywood Jablóm, said by the company to be its director of communications and marketing. TBJ put two and two together and realized Harmony pulled a fast one on them. The paper then exposed Harmony’s childish trick.

Say that communication director’s name out loud (or silently if kids or your boss are around). It is a joke I told when I was an immature 15-year-old with my friends.

No Apology or Contrition by the Company

I asked Harmony’s Matthew Davies why the company would do this. The response (links included):

“Subjects of man-on-the-street interviews sometimes give Heywood Jablome as their name to reporters. If the reporter’s a novice and if the newspaper’s copy editor doesn’t catch it, the name ends up in print, embarrassing the newspaper and the poor scribe who was gullible enough to scribble down the bogus moniker.”

Still living the prank, Mr. Jablóm provided me the response, and sent a link to an Urban Dictionary entry. Harmony is not the first to use the pseudonym. Others have resorted to the silly prank.

So, Harmony lied to reporters to embarrass them. A company that has hundreds, if not thousands, of people’s lives in the palm of their hand wants to play a joke.

It would be funny except for the residents facing eviction or what they consider draconian regulations that could make them homeless.

If Harmony had any credibility, it is shot now. I hope the city of Fresno remembers this next time they have an official dealing with Harmony.

Harmony used a stock photo for its communication director, just some actor. Some sleuths found it also used on a website for a service to make men … more male.

Others Not Amused

Mariah Thompson, with California Rural Legal Assistance, is defending several La Hacienda residents facing eviction.

“I think that tells the public everything they need to know about their company values,” Thompson said.

Jess Maxcy, president of the industry group California Manufactured Housing Institute, had a succinct reaction.

“What you have described is not professional,” Maxcy said.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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