The city of Inglewood voted unanimously on May 19, 2020,. to spend $1.2 million from the general fund to create a Housing Protection Department and hire (7) employees during this current fiscal year. The staff report indicates an additional (10) employees will be hired in FY 2020-2021.
Inglewood Mayor James Butts and CFO/Assistant City Manager David Esparza have not been transparent with the current state of the city’s finances.
A month ago Mayor Butts appeared on a local radio station stating that the city would see a $20 million decline in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while Esparza has failed to give a mid-year budget presentation for the current fiscal year.
The city council adopted the FY 2019-2020 budget showing revenues of $125,511,425 which was a 2% decrease from the year prior. Expenditures totalled $125,419,540 which left the city with a $91,885 surplus. The budget didn’t include authorizing seventeen new positions for this newly created department.
Treasurer Wanda Brown has explained that the budget is a working document that can be changed from time to time, and that the CAFER is where the real numbers reside which you can hear her explain at the 8:43 mark of this meeting.
Due to the city passing the Housing Protection Ordinance on November 5, 2019, the city finds it needs to hire staff and spend $1.3 million to renovate office space on the 7th floor of City Hall to implement the new department. The city will also allocate $170,000 for vehicle acquisition.
Councilman Ralph Franklin clarified that the employees would be transitional hires and not permanent employees as the ordinance expires in five years.
The new department was set to be implemented on October 1, 2020, on the first day of FY 2020-2021, however, the city is expecting the department to request a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic and allow landlords time to recover financially before paying the increased rental unit registration fees.
Presenter Yakema Decatur implored the council to indicate the general fund would be reimbursed once the new department got up and running.
You can read the full document on the new city department by clicking here.
The city also approved a California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) lease rider for PATH Eucalyptus located at 502-508 Eucalytpus. The lease rider is only expected to be implanted in the event of default. The document lacks the appropriate legal, budget and finance review verification and signature of City Manager Artie Fields.