By Veronica Mackey
A group of proud City of Inglewood employees piled into Council Chambers on Tuesday to be recognized for their years of faithful service. Names of City workers were announced, who are celebrating milestone employment anniversaries.
They include 30-year employees Carmen Hayes, Chandra Caldwell, Tonuia Alleyne, and Brenda Davis; 25-year employees Aleathia Mc Cann-Scott, Christopher Beckman, Paulita Richards, and Joseph Watson; and 20-year veterans Javier Alcala, Jack Aranda, Jose Fernandez, Sgt. Felipe Medina, and Jesus Perez.
Special recognition went to Police Chief Mark Fronterotta and Library Support Supervisor Susan Cunningham, for 35 years of service.
Folks had nice things to say about last weekend’s Taste of Inglewood and the District 1 Family Day in the Park. Resident Yolanda Davidson was there, and gave the event high marks.
“A taste of Inglewood was a great community effort in terms of the community coming together,” a man told City Council members. “Thanks for bringing progress to the city.”
A few residents are concerned about new developments throughout Inglewood, and rising home values. They wanted to know if the council will do anything about rent control.
“Fifty-three percent of your neighbors are renters in the city. Many home owners cannot afford to make improvements due to high property taxes. We want stronger rent control,” a man said.
A woman is concerned that “crime is really going up.” She said it’s not safe to walk the streets in Inglewood.
She was interrupted by Mayor James Butts, who said, “We have had 3 homicides in the past 3 weeks and we are concerned.” However, he continued, violent crime is down in Inglewood.
A man complained that he received 14 letters from an organization warning him that his property might be taken away to make room for a proposed basketball arena for the Los Angeles Clippers.
“Does anyone want some of this?” he joked, holding the letters.
“I already got one of those, thank you,” another man said.
Butts said the letters are propaganda from an organization that wants to hurt the City.
A man responded to the woman who complained about crime. “I’m an active block club member, and I follow crime in Inglewood. You’ll see where there are active block clubs, the crime is down. All I can say is start stepping up and attend block club meetings. Even if you live in an apartment, you can have a block club.” The man said he’d be happy to help people form clubs in their neighborhoods.
Councilman George Dotson thanked everyone who came to his District 1 Family Day in the Park. “It’s one of the best events I’ve ever been part of,” Dotson said.
Councilman Alex Padilla took his wife to the Family Day picnic and Taste of Inglewood for her birthday. “My hat’s off to Councilman Dotson and his staff for putting on such a wonderful community event,” Padilla said.
The Second District councilman also reminded everyone about National Night Out, a nationwide celebration between residents and local police, which took place Tuesday night. “They (police) put their lives on the line every single day. Tonight the community has an opportunity to come out and say thank you.”
Councilman Eloy Morales thanked police for participating in the District 3 bicycle event on Saturday. Taste of Inglewood and Family Day at Edward Vincent Park, he said, was also a big hit on Saturday.
Butts’ closing comments focused on recent attempts to “intimidate” residents with flyers saying the City plans to take away people’s homes away to build the Clippers arena. He said there is a lot of money behind the propaganda.
“There are people that think we are pretty stupid. They think (they can intimidate by) manufacturing a grass roots opposition to an agreement (with the Clippers) that might not go anywhere. I want to tell whoever is financing this, forget it. This council is not going to be intimidated!
“No one intends to take anyone’s home for a sporting arena. Whoever thought you’re going to scare us, it’s not going to happen,” Butts said.
Two public hearings were held. The first discussed tax assessments on residences with delinquent refuse and sewer accounts. The second was held to approve the Inglewood annual Local Development Report for 2017. The report includes “54 new dwelling units, reduction of single family residents (some became multi-family residents) and over 100,000 square feet of commercial space, which is the new senior center,” Public Works Director Louis Atwell said.
The Inglewood City Council approved:
•The City’s inclusion in the California Statewide Communities Development Authority Open Property Assessed Clean Energy Program to finance renewable energy generation, energy and water efficiency improvements, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure
•A three-year agreement with Passport Parking for software and mobile printers to be used in City owned handheld devices utilized by Parking Enforcement Officers
•An agreement with The Baseball Tomorrow Fund for a field maintenance grant for Darby Park
•Payment of an invoice submitted by Lawrence Doors for the replacement of the exit security roll-up door located at the City Hall management parking structure
•Introduction of an ordinance to amend Inglewood Municipal Code, Chapter 3 (Motor Vehicles and Traffic), Article 2 (Parking Regulations), to increase certain Parking Penalties
•Amending the Inglewood Municipal Code to establish Permit Parking District No. 15, adding to the District: Ivy Avenue (between Beach Avenue and La Brea Avenue); Market Street (between Hazel Street and Beach Avenue); and Edgewood Street (between Beach Avenue and Warren Lane)
•Ordinance No. 17-13, amending the Inglewood Municipal Code to create Permit Parking District No. 16, adding to the District: Regent Street between west of Oak Street and the street terminus to the west
•Ordinance No. 17-14, amending the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Salary Ordinance to include the Inglewood Police Management Association negotiated salary increases