By Veronica Mackey
On Tuesday, the City of Inglewood voted to build a new hotel in District 4. A resolution was passed to amend the 2017-18 budget to include a $11,610 deposit to cover costs of an environmental review.
A woman who is against the new hotel said the City doesn’t care about what the residents want.
Councilman Ralph Franklin, whose district will house the hotel, clapped back with reasons why he supports the project. He said residents complained there were too many motels in Inglewood, and the City has not allowed more in. He also talked about the blight problem and said a chain hotel offers an upgrade to the city.
“On 111th Street, on the southwest corner of Prairie, a home caught on fire. Now we have an opportunity to have a national hotel there…This is a key location where we can offer our families and friends a place to stay.” For those who don’t like the idea of a new hotel in Inglewood, Franklin had this to say:
“If they want to live in Mayberry, maybe they should move back to Mayberry, but this city is on the rise.”
“Why don’t you tell us how you really feel?” Mayor James Butts joked.
Curtis Mitchell, Ray Davis and Willie Agee support having a new hotel in the city. “I am excited that you, the mayor, and council are doing this. There will be thousands of people coming into town that are going to need hotels,” Mitchell said.
Davis said, “I hope everyone realizes the days of coming with your hat in your hand is over. We can demand what we want now, and I would hope the mayor will get the best use out of our city.” He added that he wants the hotel to be water-friendly and have solar energy capacity.
“I’ll be proud to see a hotel off the 405 Freeway. Franklin, I can remember you fighting about that corner for a long time. Great job,” Agee said.
Council members also approved a final tract map for 12 condos at 501 E. 99th Street, a services agreement with various contractors to bid on painting and refinishing projects, reimbursement of the City by Hollywood Park Card Club Investors for work related to signage and construction on Century Blvd. at Crenshaw Blvd. and Doty Ave. The Inglewood Municipal Code will be amended to remove five City employee commissioners from the Housing Advisory Commission, and add one commissioner nominated by Mayor Butts.
Inglewood resident Suzette Craft spoke out after having her third claim denied for alleged civil rights violations by the City, related to an incident that occurred on September 21, 2016. Craft accused Inglewood police of being nonresponsive to claims of harassment, identity theft, threats of bodily harm and other violations against her by neighbors. She said “calls to administrative offices go unreturned and issues have been unaddressed. Basically, I’ve been silenced. How can I address you guys if I’ve been told verbatim, don’t call here?”
A woman complained about receiving a brochure from IRATE Inglewood in the mail.
I don’t know who they are, but if there is something wrong then we need to fix it as residents. Please stop sending this! They have it addressed to Mr. Howard. I am Ms. Howard. I have never been a ‘mister’ in my life.”
IRATE Inglewood is an entity, reportedly based outside Inglewood, that has been sending mailers stating the City wants to take people’s homes to build the new Clipper’s arena.
“I am disappointed that people have come to me and are scared they are losing their homes. To have a home owner come, and be afraid for no other reason than they got something in the mail…” Councilman Eloy Morales said.
Joe Torres from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. presented the City of Inglewood with an EDDY Award for being a finalist for the “Most Business Friendly City.”
On Saturday, October 28 from 10am to 2pm, Inglewood residents are invited to dispose of their expired medications in front of City Hall, One Manchester Blvd. Kaiser on La Brea Ave., across from City Hall, also has a permanent drop box for unwanted medications.
City Treasurer Wanda Brown announced she will conduct her annual financial literacy internship program from Nov. 2-30. The internship will take place every Thursday and will teach young people how to become financially independent, staying out of debt and much more. For more information, call the office at (310) 412-5642.
During closing remarks, Councilman George Dotson noted the significance of the City’s EDDY Award, and how increased traffic relates to a robust economy. “I began to notice that every city I went to that had a lot of traffic had a lot of money. The traffic doesn’t bother me anymore because I know that’s money coming into the city of Inglewood.
Councilman Alex Padilla gave a shout out to Inglewood Today publisher Willie Brown for last week’s successful Best of Inglewood Awards Ceremony. “It was so nice to be able to recognize the businesses in Inglewood and the Miracle Theatre looks really nice inside. There was so much excitement watching these different business owners,” he said.
“Willie Brown has been at this for awhile,” Councilman Morales said. “Back in 2000, he had IBON—the Inglewood Business Opportunity Network. But I think he was ahead of his time. Now, the people are ready for the Best of Inglewood.”
Councilman Padilla acknowledged the 60th year anniversary of the Elks Lodge in Westchester and Red Ribbon Week from Oct. 23-Oct. 31. The week raises awareness and prevention of drug use by youth.
Councilman Franklin announced that resurfacing along Imperial Hwy. from Van Ness Ave. to Prairie Ave. will soon begin. He also thanked Louis Atwell, Inglewood Public Works Director, for intervening in a project from Southern California Edison which would have left residents without electricity on short notice.
“They gave us a notice on Friday, Oct. 13th that they were going to shut off electricity from 8pm Friday to Saturday at 4pm. That was not going to happen and Public Works Director Louis Atwell made sure that didn’t happen. We’re going to make them pull the permits correctly.”
Mayor Butts closed the meeting with good news. “Today at noon we were notified of our fourth bond credit rating increase in 2 years. We used to have someone come here and say we’re a billion dollars in debt and we’re on a slippery slope.”
Butts talked about false rumors and statements made during televised council meetings and the necessity of setting the record straight. “If I don’t come back and clean it up, people will believe it. Thanks for Curtis Mitchell, Stuart Bailey, Willie Agee and Ray Davis who have the guts to say the truth.”