Is Inglewood Mayor James Butts afraid of community dissent at his annual State of the City address? The Inglewood Chamber is back hosting its annual State of the City after a two year lapse.
Residents are fuming that Mayor James Butts has soured the relationship with the owners of the Forum so badly that they are unable to attend the State of the City at the Forum, for FREE, as they have done since the mayor has taken office.
The chamber is asking for upwards of $10,000 for sponsorship and $100 for tickets, to the event, which will take place OUTSIDE of city limits.
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Traditionally, residents were able to attend the event in close proximity to their home, and for FREE and only had to pay if they were served lunch.
With the new location being a hotel near the LAX airport, residents are disgruntled they won’t be able to attend either due to the cost or the location. It isn’t clear if the city’s shuttles will be provided to seniors, but how awkward to be sitting at tables watching everyone else eat.
Related: Letter to the Editor: Inglewood Mayor threatens Board of the Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce
Former Inglewood Chamber board members accused Erick Holly, the chambers Executive Director, of misappropriating a payment, in relation to the last state of the city, which is why the chamber hasn’t hosted one for the last two years. Although they expressed their concerns about Holly, in a meeting with Mayor Butts, they were forced to rehire Holly and the whistle blowers were replaced with new leaders.
Mayor Butts strongest voting base is senior citizens. Perhaps he can use his campaign funds to cover tickets AND transportation for community members to attend and have lunch with him. Contact Melanie McDade at 310-412-5301 to inquire and tell them 2UrbanGirls sent you!
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Wow, CHECK YOUR FACTS! The top sponsorship level has been $10,000 for years. The lowest sponsorship level is $1000 and individual tickets are $100. Get a copy of the SOC sponsorship levels from 2016 and you will see it is exactly the same. If you have been to Hawthorne’s Municipal Auditorium seats 800 people…no comparison to the largest room at the Inglewood Center, which seats about 200 max. Have you hear the term “Apples and Oranges”?
In 2015 the highest amount requested for sponsorship is $3500 and that is straight from the chambers website.
I do not know who is feeding you all of this fake information, but I was at the Board meeting, there were not 20 people in attendance, three members voted no and one abstained. You were not there, so it’s easy for you to take the word of people that want to hide their identity and throw shade. I stand by my .original comment that Mr. Holly’s actions had nothing to do with State o the City event being cancelled for two years. There was no report shown to the Board that said otherwise.
If you read this thread of comments, one of your former chamber colleagues is speaking TRUTH. Now once I get my hands on that 55 page report, you may be forced to retract your statements.
In 2016 and 2017, there was no dispute with MSG and the city. Why was the state of the city held then? The chamber wanted to have have it but the Mayor (or Melanie) stalling for whatever reason. Yet, you dont deny Erick was fired for stealing and poor performance. You don’t deny the mayor threatened the chamber in January. Do you deny the “secret” meeting the mayor called at city hall to discuss Erick and the chamber early December? Since you were at the boards meetings, do you deny that the chamber was always broke under Erick and always needed money for payroll? Where did the money go?
Please do not misinterpret my lack of response to your false claims as confirmation. Have you ever hear of the term “Libel”? Libel is an untrue defamatory statement that is made in writing. I felt that your claims were increasingly defamatory and therefore it was Mr. Holly’s right to take you to task or to court. Did your secret source tell you that when the Board voted not to renew Mr. Holly’s CEO contract the amicable severance included repayment of the personal loan he made on behalf of the chamber? Not something they would do if funds had been misappropriated. As for your other allegations, I previously stated I retired and resigned from the Chamber last July. So, you are aware I have no knowledge of any secret meetings that you claim occurred. Your inclusion of those statements was just to incite the readers and once again take them off topic. This started with the false claim that Mr. Holly was responsible for the State of the City event not being held in 2017 and 2018. You finally admitted that was untrue. Then you claimed this year’s event was not being held at the Forum due to a conspiracy of the mayor to exclude residents from hearing his message. When I stated the move was due to the greed of the MSG management doubling the price for the venue (not a very unfriendly move), your ignored that and continued on your rant about the mayor and the chamber. I wonder what your agenda is. Are one of those people rumored to have been hired to spread false information and dissention in the community?
Libel??? your funny. First of all, I’m pretty sure Erick was an employee of the Chamber at the time, so there was no CEO contract. The chamber had to pay back the loan because the chamber was LIABLE since he borrowed it for chamber business without them knowing it. You are correct, they did give him severance…..WHEN THEY FIRED HIM. Either you are VERY misinformed or purposely closing your eyes the shenanigans that went on there. There is a 55 page report the previous chamber ceo put together the day before the “Special Meeting” at city hall that got sent to ALL the previous board members, mayor butts and melanie detailing Erick’s misappropriation. I’m sure you got a copy. And you think all that was mentioned was false? And lastly, why in the world would anyone hire someone to spread false information about Erick Holly? He is nothing but the mayor’s boot licker. Does that make since to you? Nothing but the truth here.
And why is Treva Miller all of a sudden posting anonymously when she’s already identified herself?
I meant 2017 and 2018.
Ms. Miller. Erick was FIRED for mismanagement of funds and UNSATISFACTORY performance and ALL 20+ board members agreed ACCEPT you. You choose not to vote either way. He cleaned out his desk, The board took the keys, gave him his check and locked him out in December of 2017. It was PROVEN that Erick had taken money for personal reasons (such renting cars going back and forth to Las Vegas with chamber money) and did not request or inform the chamber board. He also was taking personal loans to pay for chamber employee payroll that the chamber board DID NOT know about. The previous board of directors did a THOROUGH investigation and gave him every chance to explain. Erick wrote a rebuttal about the allegations and it did not satisfy the ENTIRE board of directors. During this time, Erick was calling Melanie and Mayor Butts about how the chamber was treating him. In January, the chamber board held a meeting in which Mayor Butts attended and threatened the chamber that if they did not hire Erick back in some capacity, HE and the CITY WOULD NOT SUPPORT CHAMBER IN ANYTHING. The board informed him they were within their rights and it was their fiduciary duty to protect the chamber and its’ members. There were arguments and some board members RESIGNED because they did not want to get involved for be on the Mayor or Melanie’s hit list.
I know this is not journalism, but you are playing fast and loose with the facts. As a former Director with the Chamber of Commerce I can tell you that the reason there was no State of the City Address had nothing to do with Eric Holly. Before you throw shade on someone’s character and what their political agenda is. The mayor simply did not want to hold the event with the Clippers Stadium controversy, he likes to report good news and how the city has prospered under his leadership. They are not using the Forum location because the NYC Madison Square Garden owners doubled the cost of the venue from previous years. They are opposed to the Clippers stadium, so perhaps that may be the reason for the price hike. The sponsorship and ticket prices are exactly the same as in previous years. The difference was the less than 100 residents arrived after lunch and set in the balcony seats.
As for rumors of mismanagement of chamber funds, an extensive investigation proved those allegations to be false. In fact, it showed that Eric Holly had taken a personal loan to keep the doors of the chamber open when they lost its largest fundraising event. There were some Board members who lobbied to close the chamber and wanted more day to day control over the Executive Director’s actions. They left, Eric Holly was cleared and rehired. Next time do your readers a service and check your facts.
We published a letter directly from former members of the chamber and spoke to them, off the record, who ALL made the same claims. Again, the issue is there are no FREE seats for the community to attend as we have been able to do so in the past.
Here is the link to 2015 Chamber sponsorship and ticket prices which lists FREE seating https://inglewoodchamber.org/inglewood-state-of-the-city-2015-2/
A personal loan to keep the chamber afloat?
Trev Miller well for transparency sake please disclose all facts before you strongly assert your ” opinion” as to what ” journalism ” is or isn’t.
But before we address that issue let’s address the issue of the ” State of the City” in it’s entirety.
I’m sure you can agree the State of the City should be made accessible for no fee for the residents of this City. Traditionally and in the past most municipalities and or elected officials use this address to voice the progress of said ” municipality” and it’s vision of the future, standard address which now the City and the Chamber has made it an spetacle in which rich donors and developers are knowingly , circumventing campaign finance laws to buy access to the Mayor and council using the chamber as a conduit.
As for the State of the City address in itself , if in fact the messagebis bigger than the event itself or @ least in theory you would hope it would be, there are plenty sufficient venues within the City to hold the address without holding the event in Los Angeles.
Once again this event is another glaring example that the Mayor and his friends are self serving, egotistical leeches who will sell the community out @ any given opportunity while the greater masses struggle.
In closing as for this narrative of MSG and their so called “campaign” against the Mayor it’s important to note it’s the Mayor’s unscrupulous, underhanded tactics that created this tension that exists today.
The Mayor maliciously lied to MSG executives and misled residents with malicious intentions to enrich himself and those around him.
As for the allegatioms against Erick Holly that annonymous letter was pretty damning and I find it hard to believe that these allegations are false.
Treva Miller is an employee of LAX Community Relations team. Former members of the board have contacted me and 2UrbanGirls hopes to soon release the 55 page investigation into Erick Holly. They vehemently dispute Treva Miller’s assertion that Holly took out a personal loan to save the chamber. This years state of the city is being held at the hotel where one of the current chamber board member works. The event should be held at the Senior Center to showcase the CITY OF INGLEWOOD not a hotel in LAX. Although the chamber is technically the Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce, they are putting on the state of the city of INGLEWOOD and should be held in Inglewood. Compton just did the same with Aja Brown having the event at the Senior Center and residents watched for free, while being served hot dogs, waiting on a live feed that didn’t work.
The city media team can barely transmit weekly council meetings properly, so i wouldn’t trust their running a live feed of the chambers event either.
That is not true Treva Miller.
Wow whatever happened to transparency? Who runs the Chamber? And doesn’t this pull money from the chamber via less attendees=less $$$?
What are you afraid of Mayor/Chamber? I hope you are not locking out the press?
No Brian. Of the average 500 attendees at the State of the City Event 400 were paid guest or sponsors. The 100 residents that set in the gallery came to see the program after the lunch. The Chamber would lose money if they paid the Forum’s Madison Square Garden owners the exorbitant doubled venue rental fee they were demanding. The simple solution is to live stream the program at the Inglewood Senior Center. It has a Magnolia Room that holds 150-200 person and the room has a state of the art projection and sound system. Residents could go there for free.
Why isn’t the state of the city being held at the Senior Center vs paying rental and catering fees to a non Inglewood entity?
NOT TRUE! I attended the last state of the city at the Forum and residents sat in the free seating as lunch was being served. They had to watch people eat while waiting for the address to begin.
Again spreading false information 2urbangirls! I am not an employee of LAWA. I retired nine months ago and now spend my time volunteering for community service groups. You may not agree with the truth, but it is the truth. The MSG owners doubled the price of the venue knowing that the Chamber was not going to pay an extra $15,000 to have free gallery seats for 100 residents. So, obviously NYC MSG management does not care about the people in Inglewood. The Forum is the only location in the city that will hold 400+ for luncheon and a program. Inglewood has no hotels, but two are going to be built in the near future. The easy solution for now is to live stream the program at the Inglewood Senior Citizen Center. It has a room that holds up to 200 persons and a state of the art projection system. As for an anonymous letter clearly written by a failed mayoral candidate who was bankrolled by MSG – consider the source. Remember five years ago Inglewood was on the brink of bankruptcy today our residents have the largest senior center in southern California and that is just for starters. Be thankful for the leadership that got us here.
You are right! Lunch was served 45 minutes late, so the so guests were still getting their food when the residents were being seated for the program, which was supposed to start at 1 p.m. Everything was running late that day so there was regrettably an overlap. The speak did apologize to the audience. As for holding the event in the Senior Center it is too small to hold an event for 500. This event is the major funding source for the Inglewood’s Chamber, which is why it is so large and has sponsors. Do you have a recommendation on how the chamber should make up for the loss revenue if they did not charge an admission fee?
It should be reasonable and affordable to ALL who want to attend. Why has sponsorship jumped from $3500 to $10000?
Mayor Butts says the same tired state of the city speech at city council meetings so what is different when we pay $100 to hear it?
Finally, City of Gardena and Hawthorne held theirs in their city’s, in community centers, and was free to attend.
Why is the chamber even involved? According to Mayor Butts, he and Melanie are bringing in all the businesses, not Erick and his crew.
The Mayor runs the chamber Brian