This week’s Inglewood Council Meeting should have a good turnout. Many items are listed that will directly affect the economics of every Inglewood residents household- water rate increases and the rent control ordinance final approval. Other imperative items include a rezoning of property on LaColina Drive, the salary ordinance that was pulled from last week’s agenda and more city funds being pledged to the tennis courts at Centinela Park.
Despite reporting that “donors” helped with the renovations at the tennis courts in Centinela Park, the city’s general fund is expending an additional $44,000, on top of the $650,000 already spent to pay for “unforeseen” work. This “unforeseen” work play is becoming a regular occurrence on many city projects. 2UrbanGirls requested bid packets related to the three bid numbers publicized to perform the work and the city has yet to respond.
Helen Lessick will receive a $70,000 contract to perform consulting work related to public art.
In November 1996 Inglewood voters authorized the city’s elected officials to get a pay raise. It authorized council members an annual salary of $47,252 and the mayor $94,504. The staff report attached to this week’s council agenda includes an updated salary ordinance for FY 2019-2020. Councilmembers salaries are now $60,660.12 and Mayor Butts receives $111,303. In essence, what voters didn’t know was they allowed the elected officials to give themselves raises whenever they wanted.
It explains why City Treasurer Wanda Brown has no qualms about showing up to weekly city council meetings, when she feels like it, and will receive a raise, this week, without performing any additional duties.
In neighboring city of Compton, only the voters are allowed to give the council and mayor raises.
The Inglewood city council will approve “opting in” to a new parcel tax to pay for fire and emergency related services. The measure will be put before voters in March 2020.
**side bar** Inglewood council members were given the opportunity to let Inglewood voters participate in elections for current Inglewood elected officials up for re-election in 2020 and City Clerk Yvonne Horton cited “election costs” to persuade the council to move back elections to November instead of March. On August 10th, 2UrbanGirls requested ALL invoices Horton bills out to Inglewood Unified School District, for conducting election services, to determine the actual costs of running Inglewood elections and we are STILL waiting for a response. What does Horton have to hide?
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association contacted City Attorney Ken Campos, on behalf of renters, about the proposed water rate increase. The city recognized their errors in their mailing list and sent out new notices on October 14th. This author is a renter and received no such notice from the city of Inglewood. Renters have an opportunity to respond by December 17, 2019, to protest the water rate increase.
The public hearing notice, for water rate increases, was published in PACE news, by Gloria Zurveen, who does NOT provide citywide delivery of her newspaper in the city of Inglewood. It is believed the city paid thousands, in ad costs to Zurveen, to keep Inglewood residents unaware of the public hearing.
Finally, Inglewood property owners will no longer pay a flimsy $20 per unit, annual tax on their rental properties. The rent ordinance will now charge owners $168 per unit on properties with more than 5 units, and $84 for properties with 1-4 units. Owners with less than 4 units can pass the entire cost of the annual registration fee to their residents for $7 per month.
The city expects to collect an additional $2 million dollars in fees related to registering city properties. 2UrbanGirls has longed asked Mayor Butts to increase this tax and are glad that it has happened.