Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts made a profound declaration during the Oct.4 regular city council meeting that the Inglewood Transit Connector project might not move forward.
The projects price tag was initially pegged at $1.2 billion not taking into account inflation. The City has secured close to $400 million between a combination of Measure A funds via Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) and state grants that according to Butts won’t need to be paid back should the project not move forward.
“If we don’t receive all the funds we will halt the project where it stands,” said Mayor Butts.
The city’s auditor’s provided an audit for the period ending Sept. 30, 2021, which showed $3.3 million outstanding from Metro for reimbursements related to transit connector activities. The mayor asserts money has been received for all work performed thus far, however, the auditors weren’t in attendance to provide any insight into whether those monies were received at the time the audit was put on the council agenda July 19, 2022. The auditor’s signed the report two months prior in May. It is unknown why Metro delayed reimbursing those funds.
The significance of the statement could jeopardize the construction of the Intuit Dome, which the City suggested the transit connector to address “significant and unavoidable” traffic and noise that the NBA arena would generate.
The increased traffic from major events may even lead to slower travel times for emergency vehicles trying to access nearby Centinela Hospital Medical Center, according to the report.
The report [also] found there will be a significant impact to intersections and freeways during most of the venue’s events regardless of any improvements. Clippers games and concerts — when no other events are happening in the area — will affect 42 intersections during the weekday and 26 intersections during the weekend. The area expands to include at least two dozen more streets if The Forum, or SoFi Stadium, is having an event as well.
The City initially planned to pay for the transit connector by taxing residents but those plans were put on hold.
Then in August 2021, the City declared a fiscal emergency to justify a special election to raise taxes to pay towards the cost of the project. Voters passed an increased tax on hotel occupancy taxes but rejected higher Real Estate transfer taxes which were pledged for the project which was buried in the staff report related to the ballot measure.
A letter to the editor asked 2UrbanGirls to stop focusing on the mayor’s indiscretions and pay closer attention to the Inglewood Transit Connector project because it’s not fully funded. Is this why Phil Washington’s appointment to the Federal Aviation Administration is crucial to ensure federal funds are pledged to Inglewood’s infrastructure since its indirectly attached to the LAX expansion?
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has nothing to lose if he’s not able to build in Inglewood considering his robust community benefits package doesn’t kick in until AFTER he receives a certificate of occupancy from the City.
Councilman Alex Padilla said that even when the council doesn’t agree on things, they still vote unanimously on the agenda item.
Padilla’s comment is the most direct insight into a council that is fractured behind the scenes which the late Willie Agee continued to impress upon them to “remain a team”. Councilwoman Dionne Faulk asked the public to “keep the team together” as the mayor faces an uphill battle to be re-elected to an unprecedented fourth term because residents are fed up with his rude and condescending demeanor, however, as we have pointed out in a previous article EVERY major move in the City occurs around Butts’ re-elections.
What whammy is Butts gonna drop if re-elected next month and like Councilman Padilla said they are gonna vote in favor of it whether they like it or not.
This week the Clippers played in Seattle and one of our friends sent us this video. Is the Intuit Dome gonna be built in Inglewood?