Public Hears Plans for Developing Downtown Inglewood

Thursday, July 28, 2016 Written by 
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By Veronica Mackey


Tuesday’s council meeting began with the swearing-in of West Basin Municipal Water District Director Gloria Gray as  a County Central Committee Member.  Jackson’s Limousine, a long standing limo company in Los Angeles, was given a commendation for its contribution to the District 1 Family Day in the Park.  Jackson donated limousine service and dinner for 4 as a raffle prize.


Several hard working City of Inglewood employees were acknowledged, and presented with awards for their service of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years.


City Manager Artie Fields, with 5 years of service under his belt, was among them, and also had his service contract extended by the council until 2020.  Mayor Butts noted that, “city managers average 3 ½ years.” 


A couple of residents were not happy about the contract extension, particularly about Fields’ 3 percent salary increase for the next 4 years.  Others came to his defense.


“I want to thank the City for its confidence to allow me to continue (serving) over the next 4 years,” Fields said.


A public hearing was held to receive input on the City selling 6 parcels of land to developer Thomas Safran and Associates for $8.3 million. the D-3 site, located in downtown Inglewood at Florence and La Brea will eventually house restaurants, office and retail space, including a grocery store.  The development will be situated near the future Metro Line station, and is expected to be completed in 2019.   The land has been vacant for 20 years.


A second hearing was held to consider placing delinquent refuse and sewer accounts on the tax rolls for collection. According to a staffer from the Finance Dept., more than 300 accounts are delinquent more than 90 days, and $137,030 is uncollected.


Sad news was reported by City Treasurer Wanda Brown.  Student  loan debt is now up to $1.4 trillion and now surpasses credit card debt.


Council members voted to hire a contract attorney for the City Attorney’s Office for up to $20,000, and will pay the Jones Payne Group, Inc. $11,400 for professional services related to residential noise mitigation.


A public hearing was set for August 9, 2016 at 2pm to receive input on the Triennial Report on Water Quality, relative to public health goals.


An ordinance was adopted to amend the Inglewood Municipal Code relative to purchasing.


During closing remarks, Councilman George Dotson praised Public Works for the enormous work done so far with regard to street construction and tree trimming.  Councilman


Alex Padilla thanked Erick Holly and the Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce on its successful business events, and noted how the organization has improved over the years.


Mayor Butts answered criticism of how the council has done business in the past.  “I understand Ms. Sombrano’s (concern),” he said.  “The council was doing some stupid stuff. We had to give back $2 million because the senior center wasn’t designed right. There was no comprehensive vision for the City.”


A lot has changed since Butts became mayor of Inglewood.  He noted that nearly every month something positive and new is happening .  


“I used to say my best days were behind me when I left the City of Santa Monica.  I was wrong,” Butts said.  “Now, I say my best days are in front of me, here in the City of Inglewood.”


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