Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. is requesting residents become more involved in helping him monitor the city’s weekly warrant register listing the city’s bills being paid. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, more residents are at home and able to watch the weekly Tuesday city council meetings that are livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page.
“Mayor and city council I am calling concerning the warrant register check #687536 dated 2/26/2021 for Kimley-Horn and Associates for stadium improvements,” said Gil Mathieu, long-time resident in District 4. “What I’m concerned about is there was no tax money involved with SoFi Stadium so why are we paying money from general fund for stadium improvements?”
“Too many items are going unnoticed on the warrant register, who is watching it?” asked Mathieu. “You also have legal services which are over 2% of the budget.”
Stadium improvement costs were previously detailed on the city’s Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS).
Other residents were concerned that the law firm of Kane, Ballmer & Berkman has upwards of $400,000 in unpaid invoices that the city is funding out of the general fund.
“How does a vendor allow this amount of invoices to become past due and why doesn’t the staff report list the period these invoices are from,” asked Marvin McCoy.
The mayor attributed the past due invoices as being related to redevelopment projects which should be reimbursable under the city’s Successor Agency and Department of Finance (DOF).
“If the legal invoices are related to redevelopment, why are we paying them out of the General Fund?” asked McCoy. “Are they being kicked back by the DOF as unallowable?”
Mayor Butts provided an answer on the check Mathieu questioned regarding payment to Kimley-Horn and Associates.
“As far as the infrastructure improvement I am unaware of that check and if staff is aware you can let me know now or after the meeting,” said Mayor Butts.
This isn’t the first check the public has questioned and when brought to the city’s attention they pulled the item. 2UrbanGirls reported on a check payable to KJLH radio personality Guy Black which the mayor blamed staff for putting it on the register.
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Other questionable expenditures are the use of the city’s Gas Tax revenue to pay the light bills.
After Mayor Butts stated he wasn’t aware of the infrastructure check, and no staff came forward to explain it, the council approved the warrant register unanimously.