West Basin water board member Gloria Gray continues to maintain the lead over Inglewood Councilman George Dotson in the District 1 runoff election held March 7.
The County provided the latest update on March 10 which still shows Gray leading Dotson by nearly 1,000 votes.
Gray secured 66% of the vote while Dotson received 34%.
The update includes 584 ballots processed since Election Night. The total election results count is now 2,881 which is 16.44% of registered voters. The estimated number of outstanding Vote by Mail ballots to be processed is nine (9).
This is another major defeat to Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. who narrowly avoided a runoff last November when his popularity plummeted from over 80% to 54% voter approval.
Because of declining revenue which was exacerbated under the COVID pandemic, the council unanimously approved declaring a fiscal emergency on August 3, 2021. The emergency declaration triggered a special election to raise taxes that November.
Butts suffered a HUGE loss when voters rejected tax Measure I which would have secured an additional $4 million in revenue from an increase on Real Estate Transfer taxes. The funds would have been used on public safety and the Inglewood Transit Connector. The city is spending $100 million on its police department with $16 million in outside law enforcement contracts just for the sports and entertainment district.
Days after the election results posted, Inglewood City Manager Artie Fields sent out a citywide email reminding employees about the “Copy Reduction Policy” in order to save the city $35,000 in copying expenses.
“It’s basically telling us to copy in black and white as much as possible because color ink costs more,” said an employee who received the email. “Its funny they send a reminder about this while the mayor’s consultant spammed our emails accounts last Sunday.”
It is believed the city’s administrators are tightening their belts with Gray’s coming onto the council with a voter mandate to be a better steward of “reckless spending” that has plagued the administration under Butts.
“There is a new day in Inglewood,” said Marvin McCoy, a longtime Inglewood resident and regular attendee of the weekly city council meetings. “Gloria Gray has a mandate that the people want a voice on the city council.”
Gray was endorsed by the previous District 1 Councilman Jerome Horton, his wife Yvonne who served as City Clerk for over a decade, and long-time Treasurer Wanda Brown who was removed from the dais for publicly admonishing the council for wayward spending as the city faced millions of dollars in lawsuits payout related to Fields allowing Butts 24/7 use of a city-owned vehicle which he then plowed into multiple motorists and severely injuring an LAPD motor officer.
The city is expected to pay out millions from the general fund as the city is only self-insured up to $2 million which will also trigger an increase to the insurance premium. An ongoing lawsuit related to the mayor’s ex-aide continues to linger, and Wanda Brown’s lawsuit is still pending where she was allowed to add misappropriation of public funds to her initial complaint.
The County expects to provide another update on Friday, March 19.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist for 2UrbanGirls.com and contributing writer for the Los Angeles Wave newspaper.
Did she win the election? When will she be installed because I saw Dotson sitting at the last city council meeting. I was expecting to see Ms. Gray in her new role.
When does she take office?
After the County certifies the election.