In an attempt to capitalize off the future NFL stadiums and for the city to stay afloat, the city is seeking new ways to generate income for the general fund and property owners. McDaniel Inc/WOW Media has erected oversized digital billboards in the middle of the intersections of Manchester Blvd and Ash and another at La Cienega and Century which create a huge distraction for drivers. They do, however, offer Mayor James Butts free campaign advertisements for his re-election when digital images of him with children at the Inglewood Teen Center rotate across the humongous screen by the South Bay Workforce Investment Board. Due to recent ordinance changes, more digital billboards are headed to the city.
On March 25, 2014, the Inglewood City Council passed ordinances 14-03 and 14-04 related to requirements for erecting billboards on islands and/or triangular or irregularly shaped corner residentially owned properties and modified regulations for super graphics wall signs. As a direct result residents will see an increase in the amount of digital billboards and super graphics erected around the city.
What started as distracting billboards along the 405 freeway, to supplement income lost from one of the buildings being infested with asbestos, has now grown into full size digital billboards being erected at various locations around the city. WOW Media has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Mayor Butts’ re-election campaigns.
Legislation called for only advertising goods that could be purchased in the city of Inglewood. One caveat was a partnership with Inglewood Tickets, who would assist in selling of tickets in conjunction with the ads on the billboards. Inglewood Tickets is no longer open at 128 S. Market St. A review of their website doesn’t list a brick and mortar address either. Yelp reviews also indicate that buyers should beware.
Inglewood residents are most concerned about the size of the billboards that occupy the medians at the Manchester and La Cienega locations and under the 405 freeway underpass on Century. Cities like Anaheim also have digital billboards but are much smaller and are located in the grassy area closest to public sidewalks.
Becker Boards is an Arizona based company with digital billboards in the city of Hawthorne. They are located along Crenshaw and Hawthorne Blvd’s but have much smaller billboards than the ones we have in Inglewood. They also have billboards available throughout Los Angeles and a couple along the 91 freeway. Bulletin Displays has billboards along the same stretch of the 91 freeway which have been used by members of the Compton city council and school board. When asked who paid for their images on those boards the unanimous reply was “independent expenditures”.
Louisiana based Lamar Advertising was slapped with an ethics violation in June 2015 for failing to disclose independent expenditures when they erected 13 billboards during the 2013 election cycle in the city of Los Angeles.
Becker Boards also erects billboards on the sides of buildings. The Citibank building located at 2930 Imperial Hwy has one and on the regular city council agenda for April 3rd, the city council is scheduled to weigh in on two digital billboards on the side of 111 N. La Brea right above KJLH and easily viewable by riders on the soon to open Crenshaw/LAX line.
111 N. La Brea is also ground zero for many of Mayor Butts’ campaign donors.
The billboard agreement calls for the city to make a quick $12,500 and a minimum monthly amount of $5,000. The terms are for an initial 10 years with an option to renew.
With a $17 million dollar budget shortfall for fiscal year 2017-18, council is making it clear they will take any money coming their way.
If you would like to see city council meetings moved back to 7:00 pm, to encourage more transparency and resident participation, consider signing this petition.
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