Except for an accusation that no real progress has been made in Inglewood, and one or two complaints about city services, the Jan. 26 meeting was virtually drama free.
The council denied two property damage claims, voted in favor of employees to represent the City in Small Claims Court, and appointed City Attorney Kenneth R. Campos as the Alternate Representative to the Governing Board of the Independent Cities Risk Management Authority (ICRMA).
A contract was awarded to Enthalpy Analytical Inc. for water analysis and lab testing services. A residential sound agreement was amended to include the amount of $9,880 in the RSI Department Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Annual Budget.
A public hearing was set for Feb. 9, 2016 at 2pm to receive public comments regarding applications to obtain permits for towing services.
Inglewood City Manager and Executive Director of the Inglewood Housing Authority, Artie Fields was authorized to sign an interagency agreement to provide housing assistance for U.S. veterans residing in Inglewood.
The Inglewood Finance Dept. will reimburse the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development for ineligible allocated costs. The Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Budget will be adjusted in the amount of $659,730.
The Recognized Payment Schedule, covering the period from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, was approved for submittal to the Oversight Board.
Allstate Insurance franchisee, Billy Campbell thanked Councilman Ralph Franklin for being a friendly civil service leader. “He has had trees trimmed, invited me to his town hall meetings and (gave) me a call and listened to what I had to say.”
One man congratulated the council for bringing the Rams back. “Somebody is doing a great job and you guys need to be commended. There is going to be millions and millions of dollars and that’s why I’m here.”
Another man has his eye on enhancing entertainment in the city. “I know Inglewood doesn’t have a film festival. We would be interested in bringing a film festival to Inglewood,” he said.
A resident complained that he was being overcharged by the City for waste disposal, charged for having two trashcans instead of one. “This has been going on for more than a year. I am still waiting on a call back from Councilman (George) Dotson’s office. Mayor James Butts explained the complaint process to him and had him provide contact information for follow up.
A longtime critic of Mayor Butts and council members complained that the city is a proliferation of dollar stores and that he has seen little progress made. All council members weighed in on his remarks.
In response to the critic, Dotson said, “If you’re going to blame us for the bad things, you’ve gotta give us the good things.” He also announced that his first town hall meeting of the year will take place on Feb.20 from 10-noon at the First Church of God—now called the Center of Hope. The church is located at 9550 Crenshaw Blvd. at the corner of Hardy.
Councilman Alex Padilla urged the public to stay informed about developments that are coming beyond the Rams. “Not just the Rams, but also the Market Street development and street projects on Century.” He slammed the man who said new business development in the city was “nonsense.”
Fired up from a successful town hall meeting, Councilman Franklin said the Jan. 23 gathering was the “most attended meeting” in his career as an Inglewood council member. “People were excited, the energy was positive,” he said. The meeting featured a presentation by Campbell, which asked the audience to assess if they have enough insurance, a stadium update and remarks by Mayor Butts.
The District 4 councilman noted that the City of Inglewood is experiencing unprecedented success, and read a quote from Moody’s, which said “Inglewood has a solid credit position” and an “A-1 rating.” He thanked Residential Sound Insulation Program Manager Betty Griffin for her dedication in getting 2,000 homes soundproofed against airplane noise. Her and the department’s efforts made Inglewood’s RSI program the best one in the nation last year.
Councilman Eloy Morales noted that in the past 12 years, since he was elected to the council, “The only thing that has changed is the leadership. I have seen opportunities come and go, and we have not done a good job at capitalizing on them. But now there is new leadership. A billionaire (Rams owner Stan Kroenke) doesn’t come in and invest billions of dollars if he thinks it’s an unstable environment.” Speaking about Mayor Butts, he said, “He’s not the first mayor they have spoken to, he’s just the first one who succeeded.”
Mayor Butts defended his record and the council’s efforts toward making progress in Inglewood:
“If you think lightning struck in 2014 and the Forum came, and lightning struck again in 2016, then the Rams came, then you are being a bit delusional. In 11 months, we did 2,000 homes and made sure every Inglewood resident who was eligible had their homes done. Reserves are at a greater percentage and our surplus surpasses any other city that Moody’s rates. We are being evaluated by billionaires, Moody’s and the Los Angeles Business Journal. I’m proud of this city, even if you’re not.”
Two appointments were made. Cheryl McClellan will serve on the Housing Commission and Elias Sanchez will serve on the Youth Commission.