INGLEWOOD – The Inglewood city council called up its former city manager to explain the City’s projected $22 million deficit that was presented during the FY 2021-2022 mid-year budget review May 24. The city attributes the deficit to capital improvement project carryovers.
“I can’t wrap my head around a City our size having the general fund reserve balance it has now vs ten years ago,” said Mark Weinberg, who served as the city manager over a decade ago. Residents can’t wrap their head around why we are paying Artie Fields in excess of $300,000 for him to sit back and let everyone else do HIS JOB.
Since his departure, the City has refinanced pension obligation bonds, and received $31 million in money under the president’s recovery plan related to the pandemic. They also authorized obtaining a $10 million line of credit. All of which was put into the city’s reserves to appear more fiscally solvent than it is.
Keep in mind the City declared a fiscal emergency last August which resulted in a rushed campaign to raise taxes on real estate sales that residents rejected.
The mayor continues to express the City is passing structurally sound budgets, however, city employees will challenge that.
Departments are STILL negotiating contracts and are being told raises aren’t on the table. The talk of “hero pay” is empty rhetoric. Apparently there’s an issue of whether employees who were forced to work during the pandemic, but have left, shouldn’t be entitled to the pay.
The police department has lost nearly two dozen officers through retirement and transfers because the City has no money to increase starting salaries for positions or raises for existing personnel.
To add insult to injury, employees were emailed a video of a one armed child who dreams of becoming a basketball player by defying the odds with a message akin to “doing more with less”.
Departments are short staffed, residents are still not allowed in the building past the first floor without an appointment, and entering council chambers is a thing of the past. But the council’s [campaign] event calendar is chock full of City sponsored events.
Related: Is Inglewood Intuit Dome in jeopardy
In the video below you will hear Weinberg go along with the mayor’s assertions that everything is rosy. Pay close attention to their quick discussion about a forthcoming $5 million contract related to the Intuit Dome that the mayor says “ain’t gonna happen”. Weinberg and Butts appear to be engaged in their own conversation.
Two days after we reported on the city’s deficit, the mayor called a meeting with a local newspaper to discuss their “coverage” of the City. He couldn’t produce a single factually incorrect article printed in it.
As a result, 2UrbanGirls articles will no longer be published in the Los Angeles Wave newspaper.