There is an old saying in politics, and I was reminded as I’m rewatching the HBO award winning series “The Wire” to always follow the money.
Mar. 1 the City was to deliver 1st Quarter budget numbers, and when I heard 2UrbanGirls call in and start asking questions, the video feed on Facebook cut off. The City then had to explain to the viewers, and commenters on the City’s social media pages, that they were experienceing technical difficulties, which is a running problem depending on what’s on the council agenda that day.
Despite the declaration that revenue is up, expenditures are even higher. Specifically, costs for public safety (police and fire) are up 17.5% with no clear plan on how they recoup these costs. When you look more closely at the staff report, you see the City claims they receive reimbursements for police services, not fire. With fire costs mounting, it is evident the City was pressing for an increased Real Estate Transfer Tax to cover those costs.
I keep hearing 2UrbanGirls harp on the City’s failure to provide a copy of the contract between SoFi Stadium to determine what the actual reimbursement rates are. According to Butts, we will “eventually” be reimbursed. EVENTUALLY?
Look at the correlation to the ongoing crisis occurring at Inglewood Police Department. If my math is correct, we are nearly approaching 30 officers leaving from the Department within the last 2 years due to retirement , lateral transfers to other departments , with no end in sight. With the perception the police department is under the tight grip of Mayor Butts, one can argue he is attributed to this exodus.
I mean what self respecting police officer wants to be called to the scene of a married Mayor’s lovers quarrel and not be compensated accordingly? To add insult to injury, the council unanimously approved payment of a questionable invoice to LAZ Parking that 2UrbanGirls pointed out included a $200 / hour shuttle supervisor. The last time she brought up a questionable invoice, he pulled it from the warrant register. If we allege the mayor is getting a kickback, he’s gonna cry “I’m going to sue you”.
Make no mistake the City didn’t experience technical difficulties by “coincidence” but played the script according to plan, give them food and games so they’ll never revolt, and when they (residents) begin to asks questions, deflect, lie, intimidate or threaten litigation.
2UrbanGirls make no mistake the City of Inglewood bills are due and the true costs of running this “destination” City is beginning to rear its ugly head, and there’s no way to simply sweep under the rug a 17% increase in public safety costs with the simple notion that “eventually”, the City will get paid.
Eventually isn’t sufficient because eventually, according to the verifiable community benefits packages that are available for public consumption, it only calls for reimbursement for Police services, not fire. In fact, it hasn’t been made clear by any of the “smart” people in City Hall how the Fire contract actually works. The alarming rise in costs is happening because Inglewood is in fact now a destination City, inheriting all the good and bad that comes with it.
Instead residents are being nickel and dimed to death. Parking permit fees, home registration fees, transportation impact fees, water connection fees, and I’m hearing about some “shamalama” nonsense going on in the building permits department. Where does it end?
Also keep in mind Mark Weinberg is back running around City Hall trying to find cost-savings in every department.
To be quite simple if these first quarter numbers are indicative of anything its the City of Inglewood will be forced to make very tough decisions very soon. Barabara Ohno said in 2015 they were cooking the books to appear more financially solid than they are, and Wanda Brown has made it a point to also publicly discuss this council’s overspending.
The multiple lawsuits attached to the Mayor, are costing taxpayers thousands in legal fees, and as a self-insured City, eventually any settlements will come directly from either the general fund and/or reserves.
Wanda Brown said we’ll all be buried in our graves before we see any profits from this stadium. Maybe it wasn’t a coincidence they got rid of her.
Marvin McCoy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.