Has the city of Hawthorne fully recovered from the fallout surrounding the false budgets being passed by the City Council? A concerned resident of Hawthorne reached out to 2UrbanGirls regarding the city’s recent “State of the City” which alleged the city has accumulated a $16 million dollar surplus with NO explanation of how. Was the budget shortfall exaggerated to rid the city of its first African-American mayor?
I saw the Daily Breeze article in response to the Mayor’s State of the City address, but I have so many unanswered questions about his statements.
I’m curious as to where that $16M surplus originated from? The sales tax increase was estimated at $7.5M and was completely allocated to law enforcement and other emergency services. This was touted by City staff and elected officials as the only thing saving the City from bankruptcy. There have been some additional cost-cutting measures like review of investment strategies and selling of public land, but these are nowhere near $16M. I see $18M cash on hand, but that is not the same as a surplus. Link to budget: https://static1.squarespace.
Considering large vacant commercial parcels like Hometown Buffet, Chase Bank, Fallas, the mall and hospital (most rife with homeless), I’m also wondering about the high level of interest in opening businesses that is mentioned? There are still several shuttered businesses along Hawthorne Blvd, Prairie and Inglewood Avenues. It seems like they are flocking out of Hawthorne and the only jobs coming in are big-box, low-wage retailers like Hobby Lobby. Is there any actual evidence of increased business development outside the Mayor’s comments? During the last City Council race, there was mention of about 1500 businesses opening in Hawthorne. My guess is that is new business licenses…but that doesn’t equate to brick and mortar economic development. That could be apartment owners, home-based marketing businesses like Mary Kay or Pampered Chef or just multiple licenses for one business. Is there an actual count on new opened businesses?
In terms of education, Hawthorne still ranks as the lowest academic performer in the South Bay region. According to greatschools.org, there are only 2 schools out of 14 that rank above 5/10. The last DB article about Hawthorne High School indicated a 60% graduation rate (“educational network”?). https://www.greatschools.org/
Was there any visionary plan mentioned by the Mayor for the coming years?
Where is the Downtown Hawthorne Specific Plan being implemented?
Maybe you can get to the bottom of some of these issues faster than I can!Concerned Hawthorne Resident