The city of Compton is becoming a laughing stock in Southern California and beyond. Last night TWO local news stations aired stories surrounding Compton’s potholes and infighting between members of the Compton City Council. The Compton City Council is a minority led council with one Latino.
Residents of Compton continue to vent frustrations about their elected officials on social media. The most talked about grievance is the condition of the streets, disrespectful council members (Isaac Galvan and Janna Zurita) and the city’s $44 million dollar deficit.
In early 2016, Mayor Aja Brown was up for re-election and she campaigned on two platforms: fixing the streets and “finishing the work”. She presented the city with Measure P, an increased sales tax for vital city services (public safety/fired, repair the parks, etc.) and fix the streets.
Although the city was transparent in what the fund would be paying for, the main impetus for passing the tax was fixing the streets. Mayor Brown blamed prior administrations, and her then opponent former Mayor Omar Bradley, for failure to fix streets and said they hadn’t been addressed in years. The mayor created a website fixourstreetsnow.com designed to encourage residents to get more information on how the additional sales tax would generate millions towards street repairs. The measure passed in June 2016 with residents walking away from polling locations confident they would see Mayor Brown “finish the work”.
Then shit hit the fan when the State Controllers office conducted an audit of city finances that became public two years later in 2018. The audit discovered misspending of funds, which included the gas tax funds typically used to repair streets. All while the streets fell further into disrepair.
Many of the “big plans” Mayor Brown had in store for Compton didn’t come to fruition.
- Streets weren’t fully repaired
- Dr. Dre funded a performing arts center at Compton High School
- No bowling alley/movie theatre
Fox 11’s Gina Silva gave a report as to why there is little advancement in the city. A video surfaced of Councilwoman Janna Zurita telling a citizen she wouldn’t support ANY project attached to the mayor.
Zurita’s campaign kickoff featured her telling supporters she had a voting block of three (her, Galvan and Councilwoman Tana McCoy) who could’ve EASILY voted to repair all the streets and parks but since those items were attached to Mayor Brown’s campaign, the projects stalled.
Side note: Councilwoman Tana McCoy was a former aide to Omar Bradley and was a key witness during his trial.
Kristine Lazar, with CBS 2, gave an in depth expose as to how Measure P funds have REALLY been spent. Measure P has generated an additional $28 million dollars in revenue with the majority going on paying off debt, the sheriffs contract, buying new equipment for the Compton Fire Department (they are the ONLY city employees to support Janna Zurita for re-election) and 7% have gone on city streets.
Based on Janna Zurita’s own comments, ANY project attached to Mayor Brown will NOT be supported by her which means the streets could remain in disarray until further notice.
As Cynthia Macon would say, “WAKE UP COMPTON”.
As of now, 7% of the nearly $28 million received from Measure P has gone on city streets. Roughly $2 million dollars. How would a larger percentage go towards street repairs? Would the council have to request and vote on a reallocation of Measure P dollars or the citizens?
Watch the full CBS2 investigation by clicking here.