The city of Inglewood continues to increase the number of WOW Media Digital Billboards across select sections of the city. The passage of SB 684 allowed former Governor Jerry Brown to authorize the city to display ads in areas designated for redevelopment under the former Inglewood Redevelopment Agency (IRA). The designated area has expanded since October 4, 2013. 2UrbanGirls is beginning to wonder if the city of Inglewood’s debt, to the State of California’s Department of Finance, is being paid back by the opening of Stan Kroenke’s new NFL stadium?
Related: What’s going on in the city of Inglewood: Billboard Blight
Former Inglewood mayoral candidate Gil Mathieu regularly attended weekly city council meetings. At each meeting, during public comment, he would elude to a “$1 billion” dollar debt the Inglewood Successor Agency (ISA) former IRA, owed to the state of California. Mayor Butts would routinely interrupt and disregard Mathieu’s assertions.
Mayor Butts critic Diane Sambrano, the one he told to “choke herself”, can most likely articulate every disallowance the CA Department of Finance has issued Inglewood over their spending and approving deals related to winding down of IRA. Noted publications have also tied IRA funds attached to the Stan Kroenke’s stadium.
Related: Inglewood Could Be Making A Comeback (May 13, 2014)
In May 2014 one of USC’s news outlets, Neon Tommy, wrote that in 2011, Hollywood Park was due to be redeveloped but efforts stalled with Redevelopment Agencies were disbanded in 2012. The goal of the Redevelopment Agency was to fight blight by having the city sell bonds to redevelopment undeveloped parts of their city.
From NeonTommy.com: “Both developments (Forum and Hollywood Park) are required to provide compensation to the city: $600,000 a year in revenue from The Forum, and $100 million in tax increments toward the Successor Agency from the Hollywood Park Tomorrow project, plus an additional $40 million in tax increments for affordable housing initiatives. The Forum was also held to a strict local hiring requirement, and is required to allow the city access to its property for things like community yard sales for a set number of days each year, said Cruz.
Mayor Butts has always maintained a wonky perspective on how the city allegedly put up “no money” towards the project. It is clear the city loaned the project $21 million and gave them tax increments of $140 million dollars. The $40 million was for affordable housing to be built on the project site and instead the city built senior housing on Inglewood Ave and Lime St.
2UrbanGirls attended, and live tweeted, during the February 2015 council meeting where the city approved revisions to the existing Hollywood Park plan removing the affordable housing and adding the NFL stadium. The developer noted the CITY requested no affordable housing; market rate only. Neither Mayor Butts nor any other member of council corrected them.
Related: California land grab threatens cities from Oakland to LA suburbs
K.P. Properties was charged with creating an “auto square” similar to the one in Cerritos. Steve Soboroff helped bring in Carmax and Hooman Hyundai came on board. SB 684 allowed the promotion of advertising of redevelopment project areas so the companies could advertise along the freeway.
Sky Posters were erected alongside an asbestos infested building at the intersection of LaCienega and Century. They are also on the neighboring parking structure. The business would be able to recoup lost revenue by partnering with the city. The owner of Sky Posters is well known for an ad he has up on the side of a medical building on Wilshire and Sepulveda.
This weeks council agenda is pretty light. The most significant item on there is Item 7 & CSA- with gives them approval for new expenditures which includes the new billboards.
The process includes the city approving the expenditures then the item is forwarded to the Second Supervisorial Oversight Committee where Mayor Butts is the chair. The committee held their first meeting July 24, 2018 and hasn’t met since September after members Compton members Micah Ali and Keith Curry abruptly resigned.
Mayor Butts came into office in 2011. Right as the city had to pull the ultimate switcheroo on the land swaps to ensure the city was the owner of the parcels and free to dispose at will and not when the state said so. So he called in his friends to presumably make some “easy money” helping him put property/projects in their name.
Parcel numbers have been changed and the notary public of record is Tunisia Johnson, a secretary to City Manager Artie Fields. The same employee who won a city house in a public offering.
A judge ruled this week that an environmental impact report, tied to a proposed Clippers arena, was not needed.
Related: Proposed Clippers arena in Inglewood clears legal obstacle
The judge pointed out that the ENA doesn’t specify the arena’s exact location, how tall the building would be or whether the parking would be on surface lots, underground or a garage.
“Based on the foregoing, the court agrees an EIR would be premature because any analysis of the environmental impacts would be ‘wholly speculative and essentially meaningless,’ ” Beckloff wrote.
Based on social media comments, Inglewood residents are beginning to thaw to the mayor’s hype. Some residents continue to face steep rent increases and the city’s response is they will only investigate if the increase exceeds 25%.
Is Mayor Butts that savvy to pull the wool over so many peoples eyes are all they in collusion to commit fraud against the Inglewood taxpayers and the State of California? Was the NFL stadium the answer to Inglewood’s financial problems?