A representative from the South Bay Cities Council of Governments Work Program applauded the City of Inglewood at the Council meeting for its impressive efforts to save energy, and encouraged residents to do the same.
With the holidays right around the corner, Inglewood residents are reminded that the SBCCOG will exchange their old holiday lights for the new lower wattage ones for free. SBCCOG recently won a $100 million grant to develop an action plan for saving energy, which will be complete in the next two years.
The council approved an increase in the per diem rate from $64 to $71 for conducting City business, as established by the U.S. General Services Administration, while maintaining the current mileage rate of 56.0 cents per mile. Council members also approved an amendment to an agreement for public art consulting services; a civil rights compliance plan for the City’s Senior Transportation Program; extension of a contract to provide meals for the Inglewood
Senior Nutrition Program through September 30, 2015; and a two-year renewable agreement with a paint company.
A public hearing was set for October 14, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. to consider granting a franchise to Crimson California Pipeline LP, to operate and maintain a crude oil transmission pipeline in the City of Inglewood.
What drew the most comment was a staff recommendation to terminate 127,839 delinquent parking citations, with fines and penalty fees valued at $14,462,422, as of June 16, 2009.
“We shouldn’t have tickets on the books for half a decade. That is way too long!” Ray Davis said. “We shouldn’t have folks just getting tickets and blowing the town off.”
“If you had that as a receivable and we are not going to receive it, what are you going to do to make up for it? I am concerned we are just now bringing it up,” said Diane Sombrano.
Mayor James Butts explained:
“These are tickets that were not filled out right. Some of the license plate information was missing. They are non-collectable.
“It is not money that the City has banked on. They are invalid. They’re not tickets. To say we are missing $14,000,000 is inaccurate because they cannot be collected. Why not wipe them out instead of spend money trying to collect on them year after year after year?”
“The way I see it, is you’re cleaning house,” Willie Agee said.
Councilman Eloy Morales commented on complaints from residents about parking enforcement, even when the parking tickets are justified. “I am getting so many calls from the fact that we are actually enforcing parking. I’ll say, ‘Did you block that driveway?’ and they’ll say, ‘Yes, but I’ve been doing it for years.’”
The economy is looking up, said City Treasurer Wanda Brown. Foreclosures are down 34 percent from a year ago. Consumer pricing and durable goods are all up, she said.
A man announced the next meeting of the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee will take place on Oct. 20 at 10am in City Hall, Community Room A.
A 9 year-old boy made a huge impression on the council and everyone else. Joshua Apparicio asked the mayor, councilmembers and public for financial assistance to attend a conference in Washington DC next year. Joshua is a 5th grader who already has a public speaking career, and has been invited because of his leadership ability and academic excellence. His mother has lost her job, and is unable to pay his expenses.
“Joshua, I know you’re going to get the money because we believe in you. You’ll get to Washington. I just hope they’re ready for you,” Councilman Alex Padilla said.
Councilman George Dotson gave an update about the future of Warren Lane School, which has been closed. According to Dotson, the site will be turned into a school for special needs students. He also reminded residents that his office is open if they need to talk. “A lot of times some of these questions can be answered before we come to the meeting on Tuesdays,” he said.
Councilman Ralph Franklin gave a shout-out to Pablo Novelo, an 81 year-old resident in District 4 who has worked for years to help curb prostitution. Franklin and Morales honored Novelo recently along with The Alliance Group. He has been recognized in the City of Inglewood for his work with the police department on prostitution and gang activity.
“He has been instrumental for the past several decades.” Franklin said. Novelo has campaigned actively along Century Blvd., putting up signs in businesses that read, “Prostitution is not welcome here.”
Folks were still savoring the memory of the District 2 Picnic, which took place at North Park last weekend. Photos of the event flashed on the new TV monitors.
City Clerk Yvonne Horton gave Councilman Alex Padilla’s two thumbs up for hosting the event: “The thing I like the most is the way people are coming together in the city of Inglewood,” she told the council. “Keep up the good work and keep your chins up.”
Morales also chimed in about the picnic. “Councilman Padilla did a great job…There must have been 20 staff members out there. It’s a day where they could do whatever they want and they chose to come there.”
“There were folks from all over the city, and folks from the Los Angeles area. People have given me kudos, but the kudos go to the crew that helped me out, the staff and commissioners,” Councilman Padilla said.
Folks are still getting used to having their time cut from 3 minutes to 1 minute for general comments. Many don’t like it.
“The public has more time to speak than the council does,” Mayor Butts said. “People seldom talk about city business. It’s an attempt to fill up 3 minutes with some sort of speech.” The public now has a total of 4 minutes to speak—3 minutes at the start of the meeting to address consent calendar items and another minute at the end to discuss whatever they want. The council has 3 minutes to give their closing remarks.
In his closing, the mayor addressed a few public concerns:
“(Warren Lane School) is property of the school district. The church wants to buy it, but the school district is not selling it. The Hollywood Park Casino movement—the casino will front Century Blvd., somewhere east of Prairie.
On November 4, Inglewood voters will decide the next mayor and governor, as well as other key state races and propositions. There is still time to register to vote before the October 20 deadline. For more information, visit www.registertovote.ca.gov. Registration applications are also available at most post offices, libraries, city and county government offices.