This week’s City Council meeting for the city of Inglewood revealed news reporters are on the trail of how the city reported a $17 million-dollar budget deficit for FY 2017-18 yet paid out upwards of $150k in bonuses to executive staff members three months into the start of FY 2018-19. Inglewood Mayor James Butts, and his councilmates, continued to heap praise on a newly hired city employee, who narrowly avoided jail for lying to the FBI. And par the course, Mayor Butts continued to publicly highlight the failures of Councilmen Eloy Morales and Ralph Franklin.
This week’s agenda included a 1st quarter budget presentation that showed revenue is up, and so are expenditures. FY 2018-19 is expected to have a surplus of a measly $60k. The city has made NO mention of how they achieved such a miraculous feat.
The city is refinancing lease revenue bonds and has moved the collateral from City Hall to the newly built senior center. Last week the city created a joint powers authority between the city and the Inglewood Housing Authority and moments after approving the authority’s bylaws, promptly leveraged the Senior Center.
This action was set in motion in December when Yakema Decatur, deputy to city manager Artie Fields, signed off on the staff report allowing Urban Futures Inc to advise the city on the bond refinancing. Urban Futures is well known for work done in the city of Beaumont which resulted in several city executives landing in jail.
During closing remarks, as he always does, Mayor Butts points to the failure of Councilmen Eloy Morales and Ralph Franklin for not keeping up the city’s infrastructure, during their tenure on the council, prior to Mayor Butts’ arrival.
It was under Morales and Franklin that the city declared a fiscal emergency, in 2010, which closed a fire station, the Morningside Park library and an inordinate amount of layoffs of city staff. The city’s employees credit union even closed. Residents seem to forget that. 2UrbanGirls hasn’t.
Mayor Butts made a statement that Ms. McDade, one of his alleged city hall consorts, single handedly negotiated deals to bring the LA Philharmonic to the city AND negotiated a $25 million-dollar contract with the city’s parking enforcement vendor Serco. It is hard to believe when 1. Ms. McDade NEVER takes to the podium to present her miraculous deeds, and 2. the former City of Inglewood Acting Parking and Enterprise Services Manager Ron Rubino was both signer of the staff report and gave the presentation to council in May 2014 on the contract for its approval. Why would the Mayor give her credit for work she didn’t do? And why are bonuses being bestowed on certain employees when based on the budget we can’t afford it?
Finally, it is unclear what Office of Emergency Services Manager Brian Walker is holding over the head of Mayor Butts, but the council told the public that Walker is the “finest counterterrorism expert in the state of California and the city is “lucky” to have him on staff.” Why should residents be “lucky” to have an unethical, former cop, on the payroll who was convicted of tax evasion? In the REAL WORLD, he wouldn’t be hired by any company, for anything security related, due to this. But not in Inglewood where our mayor is always concerned about “optics”. Is Mayor Butts concerned Walker will expose the REAL reason he left working at the LA Airport system with no explanation? In fact, are ALL of the bonuses, heaped on city executives, that are now being looked into by the media, to keep them on the “team” and quiet about his shenanigans in City Hall? Stay tuned.