I am sending you this as it was also sent to the members of the Torrance city council.
As a resident of the city of Torrance and an active community member, I am appalled at how the city of Torrance is handling its current budget. Attending the city council meeting on June 23rd, 2020, agenda item 8E, the city agreed to continue the part-time consultant services agreement with Kim Fuentes, Deputy Director of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments for the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 for a total amount $262,080 for Commuter Transportation (Ride Share) Consultant Services with approval for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 not to exceed the amount of $327,600.
After speaking with several city employees, it is clear that Kim Fuentes has received this contract for many years with no bidding process in place and no competition to obtain this contract. I was told because of her personal relationships with Torrance’s former City Manager Leroy Jackson, Previous Community Development Director Danny Santana (now Assistant City Manager), Community Development Department Sr. Planning Associate, Carolyn Chun and Planning Manager Gregg Lodan; the City Council is fraudulently and frivolously awarding contracts without reviewing or considering the impact it has on our cities budget. What has the Ride Share program provided for the residents of Torrance? What is the benefit?
Not only does this present a waste of taxpayers’ dollars, and resources, but it is also a clear conflict of interest as Ms. Fuentes is the Deputy Director of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments of which Torrance is paying to be a member city.
I find this infuriating that my city is in a budget deficit yet is willing to cut our safety resources such as police officers and firefighters among other essential services in the midst of an ongoing pandemic where the citizens should come first.
I am asking my City Council to please review the Commuter Transportation (Ride Share) consultant agreement between the City of Torrance and Kim Fuentes. This contract clearly shows Ms. Fuentes is double dipping and it is unethical and fiscally irresponsible. Additionally, residents of Torrance may be paying additional sales tax for depleted reserves during the Pandemic while our city is depleting our very own resources by awarding and re-awarding the same consultant year after year on unnecessary spending on a part time consultant.
As public servants of the city of Torrance you were voted in and elected by the citizens of Torrance to have our best interest in mind.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.