Inglewood City Clerk Aisha Thompson was elected under what some residents call “dubious” circumstances.
The nomination period was fraught with irregularities that saw incumbents waiting until the 11th hour to alert the public they weren’t seeking re-election. This in turn didn’t allow the public ample time to file papers to run for office either City Clerk or Council District 4.
The nomination period gave off the appearance that Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. was hand selecting who would be placed in those positions.
There were also complaints lodged against City Attorney Ken Campos for failure to enforce the city’s municipal code (IMC) sections 2-48, 2-49, and 2-50, which forbids city employees for running for office. The IMC states employees must first resign before pulling nomination papers.
Campos’ office ignored the city’s law, the same they attempt to hold residents and businesses accountable for, presumably under the direction of Mayor Butts to ensure his preferred candidate was elected.
Aisha Thompson was the long-time deputy to former City Clerk Yvonne Horton. Thompson came to work for Horton after her boss, then Sen. Jerome Horton, left for the Board of Equalization.
The Clerk’s duties include preparing the weekly city council agendas, responding to public records requests, and the holder of all city documents.
The most recent salary ordinance 18-01 indicates the Clerk has been given additional duties, at the behest of the city council. The extra duties provides additional compensation.
The Inglewood Municipal Code Section 2-277 details the base salaries of the city’s elected officials.
The base salary for the City Clerk is $1616 per month. According to Rent Café the average rental cost is $1840 for a 761 sq. ft. apartment.
The extra duties bestowed by the city council swells the clerk’s salary to $8694.54 per month.
Thompson had a front row seat when Treasurer Wanda Brown began to publicly spar with the mayor, over allegations related to the city’s finances. Butts and the council unanimously voted to remove the extra duties from the treasurer’s office, which in turn reduced her salary from $7949 per month to $1404.
The City held a city council meeting on July 14 where the Inglewood Police Department submitted multiple agenda items to approve agreement with outside law enforcement agencies to provide services for events held at SoFi Stadium. The funding is due to come from the City’s general fund reserves, despite the 2020-2021 budget predicting a $9.7 million revenue shortfall.
The City posted the council agenda with phone numbers to call in to voice public comments on the movement of $1.2 million in reserves to outside agencies, despite Inglewood officers being denied the ability to work overtime.
When you called the numbers printed on the council agenda, you received a message saying “the meeting ID you entered doesn’t exist”.
2UrbanGirls contacted the city clerk, where they fielded multiple calls regarding the incorrect phone numbers on the agenda.
“Our office does not prepare the council agenda, we wait for [Deputy City Manager/Housing Protection Director] Yakema Decatur to prepare the agenda, and when she sends to us, we just post it,” said the clerk’s staff member who answered the phone.
Why is the City Clerk not doing the duties we are paying her for?
“The office of the City Clerk is arguably the most vital City Office in providing transparency to the residents of any municipality, serving as the City’s elections official, legislative administrator, and records manager,” said Carson Councilman Jawane Hilton, when his colleagues attempted to usurp the elected offices authority. “The clerk’s office needs to maintain independence from the council if we are to have fair elections and the preservation of our democracy.”
The city appears to be intentionally keeping the residents from participating in council meetings, by giving out false phone numbers, and holding meetings at 9 a.m. to avoid scrutiny.
Residents fear Thompson is beholden to Mayor Butts, to ensure he doesn’t have council vote to take away her excessive salary, and that she is incapable and unqualified for the position she holds.
Multiple complaints have been lodged with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, regarding the nomination period, and Brown Act violations, which have gone ignored.