Compton residents continue to misdirect blame at the current council’s dismissal of the former city manager as why the streets stopped being repaired. Measure P was an increased sales tax championed by former mayor Aja Brown to “fix the streets”, however, a recent detail of city funds shows there is just enough money in the account to purchase 135 bags of asphalt.
Former city manager Craig Cornwell failed to get his employment contract renewed once a new council was seated after the city’s June General Election. Cornwell and his council supporters argued that his robust street repairs point to his earning a contract extension.
Residents cried “our streets will stop being repaired” if we don’t have a city manager and they blamed the council.
In 2019, CBS’ Kristine Lazar did an in depth story on why the repairs weren’t being made and when she contacted the mayor, city manager and members of the council, she reported “they either refused or didn’t respond”. Lazar pushed back her story to accommodate Brown’s schedule, and she still declined to discuss the city’s streets and the money brought in to address the issue.
“Measure P is a general tax and I will not go back and forth with the council through the media,” said Brown, through a written statement.
At end of 2019, Lazar reported the city manager provided documents showing $28 million netted by the city, and from 2017-2018, the increased sales tax brought in nearly $11 million.
The bulk of the money went to public safety (fire and police) and paying down old debt.
City Clerk Alita Godwin failed to budget for elections held in 2021, and Cornwell suggested using Measure P funds to pay the costs.
Treasurer Brandon Mims released a document detailing the city’s fund balances and to the residents amazement, showed the Measure P account, had only $5,000 in it.
Residents are outraged.
“Thank goodness this was posted before people start to blame the members of the new council. Now I see why parking tickets, building and safety increased fees, and new bond suggestions etc.. are being initiated for the citizens,” said Angela Lewis. “They have no other way to generate funds. This is a form of taxation without representation. An accurate audit is needed.”
“Why does building & safety have a “0” balance?,” asked Robert Ray. “Don’t the make money from people paying for permits?”
“Last I heard anything about the funds it was $47 million two years ago and this is why [we need] a forensic accounting firm like PRICE WATERHOUSE COPPER,” said Terrance Crumby. “We must find all the funds that Compton hasn’t been able to hold people accountable for.”