After a brief presentation and taking care of city business, Mayor James Butts and the Inglewood Council continued efforts to bring justice to a fallen resident.
But first, Gloria Gray, President of the West Basin Municipal Water District (WBMWD) Board, gave a presentation about the California drought issue, and explained what her agency does. WBMWD sells water to 17 cities including Inglewood.
“We are a wholesale water agency. We sell water directly and serve about 900,000 constituents from West Hollywood to Carson,” Gray said. She noted that:
· 82% of the state is in an exceptional drought situation
· Inglewood is one of the low usage cities. It has reduced water usage by 12%; the state goal is 25%.
· One of the main water sources for Southern California is the Colorado River. West Basin is looking for more local control.
“We are in a 4-year drought, we must respond with behavioral change, not just respond to the drought,” Gray said. To help residents become more water-conservative, West Basin offers programs such as high-efficiency toilets and rebates for turf removal. Because most water use occurs outside the home (and contributes most to water bills), turf removal is extremely popular. Through this program, home and business owners are offered rebates to change their grassy landscapes into ocean-friendly gardens. Those who remove their grass and replace it with plants are offered $3 per square foot for turf removal.”
Interested Inglewood residents can take advantage of the programs by calling (310) 217-2411 or going online to www.westbasin.org. Funding for these programs go quickly, so residents should not delay.
An initiative by Councilman Alex Padilla to name a community within his District 2 got full support of the council. The area, proposed by a group of residents, will now be called La Tijera Village. It is bounded by La Cienega Boulevard on the west, Centinela Avenue on the south, North La Brea Boulevard on the east, and West 64th Street on the north.
“I want to thank the neighbors (who were) instrumental in putting this together,” Padilla said. “They went and knocked on the doors. I am happy to list that area as La Tijera Village.”
The council also approved a sales agreement related to a City-owned parking lot located on the south side of Redondo Boulevard, west of Long Street; participation in WBMWDs Ocean Friendly Demonstration Gardens Program; and authorization for the City’s After School Recreation Program to be held on Inglewood Unified School District property. The Inglewood Police Department got the green light to use $120,000 for expenditures related to law enforcement and to temporarily relocate the Police Communications Center due to renovation. Public Works will get up to $120,000 for asphalt concrete. A contract was awarded to sound-insulate 36 homes.
A public hearing was set for July 28, 2015 at 7pm, pertaining to delinquent refuse and sewer accounts scheduled for direct property tax assessment.
The Inglewood community is still shaken up over the heinous murder of beloved resident, Robert Hollis. The 75 year-old resident who was legally blind was found dead, decapitated on June 18. His head is still missing. His former wife Norma Hollis thanked Mayor Butts for his initiative offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Hollis’ murderer(s). Police have not made any public statements since the murder occurred.
“Due to the viciousness of this crime, and the fact that he was a senior and blind and could not defend himself, we intend to support this family and bring justice in this case, and we intend to let people know that this will not be tolerated,” Butts said.
Councilman George Dotson thanked Gloria Gray for her “wonderful report.” He also congratulated all who graduated from the CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) program. CERT trains civilian volunteers to help fellow residents during disasters.
Councilman Padilla commented on the progress being made to city streets. “It’s so nice to drive down the streets and have them look beautiful. My compliments to Public Works Director Louis Atwell.”
Padilla and Councilman Ralph Franklin reminded everyone that Safe and Sane fireworks are the only ones that are legal in Inglewood. If fireworks are going higher than 6 feet into the air they are illegal. “There are 22 Safe and Sane fireworks stands approved by the City of Inglewood. I encourage you to patronize them as they help support youth activities,” Franklin said. To report illegal fireworks, call (310) 412-8771.
All council members congratulated Margaret Evans, who was in the audience, for winning a seat on the Inglewood School Board.
Butts had more to say about the reward offered for Hollis’ murderer(s). “Ordinarily police come to us with a reward. In this case, the council came. This was a senior citizen in his own home. He was in the latter stages of glaucoma. We hope this reward will lead to the arrest, apprehension and conviction of those responsible. But if it doesn’t, we have made a commitment.”
Last week the council approved two rewards--$25,000 each—for the identification, apprehension and conviction of those responsible for killing Christopher Palmer and Crystal Crawford. The gesture led to the question: “How effective are rewards in capturing murder suspects?”
A $50,000 reward is not enough, Ray Davis said, to keep an informant safe from retaliation. Personal safety could require relocating and starting a new life. “But I understand you need to offer that,” he said.
“If ever there was any reward paid out anywhere where it worked that’s enough for me to say, it’s worth a try. The amount—we could never offer enough—but leaders have to make decisions and it’s never easy to offer one over another. All lives are valuable,” Councilman Eloy Morales said.
On another note, Butts told the public that Dr. Don Brann, Inglewood Unified School District Trustee, resigned on Monday. “We feel it is very important for the community to provide input on the qualities needed (for the next trustee),” he said. The meeting was closed in memory of Robert Hollis.