The proposed City of Champions Revitalization Project was still a hot topic at Tuesday’s council meeting—a carryover from last week, when about a dozen residents showed up in tee-shirts to support building a new 80,000-seat stadium.
Despite numerous statements made by developers, Mayor James Butts and council members that no tax dollars will be spent to build the stadium, rumors that Inglewood taxpayers will be on the hook still persist.
Diane Sombrano said the city is giving “subsidies to billionaires” for the project. “They should not be coming to us.” she said. “They have the money.”
A three-year resident said, “The great thing about the initiative is that it doesn’t cost us a penny. I don’t know any developments (of this magnitude) that were done without taxpayer money.”
Leroy Fisher came to the podium with a thick stack of papers, which he said was a 180-page document about the stadium. “People did not have time to read it. I object to the way you do things,” he told Butts.
Maxine Toler, who supports the project, stressed the “tens of thousands of jobs” it will bring to Inglewood. “This will put Inglewood back on the map, let’s get started,” she said.
Sandie Crisp, who ran against Butts last year, said “The owner of that property said no tax money is coming out of the resident’s pockets.” She said residents complain about the mayor too much. “You guys voted him in… If you guys don’t want him in, then don’t vote him in.”
Butts explained the City’s financial agreement with developers. According to Butts, public parks and sidewalks will be paid for with private money. There is a clause in the agreement for the City to reimburse developers in the form of tax credits. “No tax credits will be received until the City first receives $25 million from the project in a given year,” he said.
Looking forward, Ray Davis wants to make sure two icons become permanent fixtures inside the new Hollywood Park. He wants a street named after Martin Luther King, Jr., and previously called for a street to be named Stevie Wonder Boulevard. “Let’s make history, guys,” Davis said.
The council approved a three-year agreement for actuarial valuation services in regard to post-employment benefits. Public Works got the green light to begin another street improvement project, specifically to rehabilitate streets and alleys. Various residential sound insulation projects were also approved.
Councilman Alex Padilla is looking into acquiring a 6-acre property for the City. It is located across the street from Rogers Park at 634 W. Hyde Park in District 2. He also reminded residents that the Relay for Life cancer awareness event will return to Inglewood June 6 and 7. He urged residents to contact their respective councilmen to form district teams.
Councilman Ralph Franklin took issue with a resident referring to block club and town hall meetings as “Mickey Mouse.” “Calling a town hall meeting ‘Mickey Mouse’ is offensive,” Franklin said. “We clearly had standing room only and (residents) were engaged in positive insights,” he said referring to his recent town hall meeting. He added that people who criticize block club meetings usually don’t attend them.
Councilman Eloy Morales quelled the remarks with sarcasm, noting the ‘excellent Mickey Mouse’ meeting on the Hollywood Park development, which took place last Saturday.
“There a small number of people who are. . .saying nothing’s happening (in Inglewood) today,” Butts said. “They are never there for any community thing. Some people are just unhappy. We just have to get real, there are just some people who are unhappy with their lives and we just have to say it.”
District 1 is hosting another document shredding event Feb. 28th, from 9am-12pm at the Police Community Center on Manchester and 7th Avenue, Councilman George Dotson said.
City Treasurer Wanda Brown reminded the public that senior residents who file their taxes using W-2 or 1099 forms can get free assistance through her office. The last date to make an appointment is April 3, 2015. Call (310) 412-5642.
Brown also had great news for residents over the age of 40, in need to be seen by an eye doctor. The USC Eye Institute is conducting a 3-year study for qualifying Inglewood residents, which includes free eye examinations. Residents can visit the Inglewood AFEDS Clinic, 110 S. La Brea on the 4th Floor of the Inglewood One Stop Center. The number is (323) 442-6453. It is a county-wide study. If you live outside Inglewood, call (310) 419-5962 to find the nearest study site in your area.
“It’s a 2-hour interview, they ask about your family history and what you should eat…It’s an excellent opportunity if you have any eye problems,” Brown said.