The November 17, 2015 session of the Inglewood City Council was called to order at 2pm. This was the first official meeting since council members introduced an ordinance to move all open sessions to Tuesday afternoons. There was opposition to the time change, but more on that later.
First off, officials and students at the Children of Promise Preparatory Academy charter school presented the council with a plaque. It is a token of appreciation for making funds available for a new school building. Principal Trina Thompson thanked Councilman Ralph Franklin by name, and said, “I’m trying to contain myself, but I am so excited. We’ve just moved into a new facility, our charter school is expanding.” Council members voted in favor or bond money for the school through a resolution passed in June.
CEO Carleton Lincoln jokingly thanked the Inglewood Police Department “for only giving me one parking violation in 9 months.” He added that he has “never been to a city where every place I’ve walked in, there was a smile on everyone’s face.”
After a group photo with school officials, students and the council, residents lined up to speak on agenda items, mainly the council’s decision to move open meeting times from the alternating schedule of 2pm and 7pm every other Tuesday to 2pm every Tuesday. There has been a long running debate over council meeting times. Until last year, public meetings were always held at 7pm every Tuesday. Then a resolution was passed to move meetings to 2pm every first and third Tuesday, and 7pm every second, fourth and fifth Tuesday.
Some residents noted that not enough people can attend afternoon meetings due to work schedules. Others—especially seniors—argue that lack of transportation or safety concerns prohibit them from attending meetings at night.
Ray Davis said, “I thought the split we had (alternate day and evening meetings) was a good fit. But I don’t believe that this council and staff should be leery of anybody coming to a meeting, because that’s what some are saying. But I say to you, your skins are thicker than that. I know they are.”
The council approved the new time slot, along with a host of other items, including:
• Acceptance of an ordinance introduced to add the District 2 Community Center as a public facility for rent or use
• Agreements to cover documentation costs in connection with a series of proposed mixed-use developments in 6 properties in downtown Inglewood, and fair housing counseling
and housing discrimination services for Fiscal Year 2015-16
• Transfer of unexpended funds within the Parks, Recreation and Library Services budget for summer camp and senior meals programs (Fiscal Year 2014-15)
• Rejection of and authorization to rebid a public works project for the Crenshaw Boulevard and 84th Place Highway Safety Improvement Project
• A contract award to Unique Performance Construction, Inc. for a Transit Stop Improvement Project
The Hollywood Park Casino Phase I Public Art Plan was approved, commissioning a variety of artworks, including ceramic sculpture, prints from living artists and commercial galleries. Inglewood residents and businesses will soon see a rate adjustment for solid waste collection services as per an agreement with Consolidated Disposal Service.
An initiative by Council Member Alex Padilla was passed for city sponsorship of the 2015 District 2 Toy Drive on December12, 10am to 2pm, at the ICOP Center, 943 N. La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90302.
During the second round of public comments, a representative from the South Bay Workforce Investment Board (SBWIB) reminded everyone that the agency has a website which compiles landing pages of each member city, including Inglewood. The site contains information on real estate and demographics. The address is www.sbwib.org.
Sylvester Matthews followed up on a previous complaint about leaf blowers in the city. “I need to know how to address this,” he said. “It’s a health problem. Aesthetically it’s fine, but it’s coming up into my window.”
A woman wants something done about traffic conditions near La Cienega and Centinela. Motorists run the stop signs, the woman said, and she almost got hit twice within one week.
Councilman George Dotson thanked the community and KJLH Radio for another successful Veterans Day breakfast last week.
Mayor James Butts and council members gave a shout-out to Lillian Sombrano, who has devoted many years of work to advancing the Historical Society of Centinela Valley. She appeared in a photo with members of the council, which was displayed on a screen in council chambers.
Recalling the Society’s 50th anniversary, Butts said, “I met a woman who approached me who was very gregarious. Ms. Sombrano spent time teaching music in our community and she’s a piano teacher. I wanted to let the community know what a treasure we have in Lillian Sombrano.”
“We were all impressed with the work of the historical society,” Councilman Eloy Morales said.
“Ms. Lillian Sombrano has been a longtime resident and neighbor of mine for a long time. She sought us out and she embraced me and invited me to go to her table, and it was a great honor to have that picture,” Franklin said.
Treasurer Wanda Brown warned that a severe overestimation of earnings by CALPERS (state retirement fund) is going to negatively impact retiree pensions. The agency is facing a shortfall of more than $175 billion.
This Thursday from 9am to noon, the City of Inglewood will partner with Snoop Dogg to give away 1000 turkeys for 1000 needy Inglewood families. “Families have already registered. It was advertised on the web, but just so you know, it was already pulled,” Butts said.