Last week wasn’t that great for Inglewood Mayor James Butts and the Inglewood City Council. 2UrbanGirls first reported, then the Daily Breeze followed up, with the details of an audit taking place inside of City Hall. The state controller is looking into the last two years of financials and Mayor Butts and City Manager Artie Fields have no comment.
This weeks council agenda also identifies the appointees to the Inglewood Residents Advisory Board Commission.
A Daily Breeze journalist shared with a community member that “they don’t publish rumors like 2UrbanGirls” however, they have been able to confirm everything this blog has written about.
On this weeks council agenda, Mayor Butts will continue reporting on revisions to his initiative, Ordinance 19-13, to amend the Inglewood Municipal Code to include housing protection provisions.
Revisions include listing an end date for two properties that have already entered into agreements with the city of Inglewood, revisions to capital improvements which allow property owners to increase rent to 8%, revisions to just cause evictions to allow for owner move in and/or the removal of the unit from the rental market, and relocation fees.
Over the weekend, our areas Congresswoman Rep. Maxine Waters, held a Town Hall where Mayor Butts, Damien Goodman of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition and Derek Steele, from Uplift Inglewood/Social Justice Learning Institute, convened on a panel where the topic was the homeless crisis.
“The working class tenants of Inglewood need an organization that speaks to their interests and is made up of other tenants. Mayor Butts has made clear he represents the landlords and was forced to concede this ordinance. The ordinance does not go for enough. Tenants need to organize as a political force to fight for and defend our right to housing.”Julia Wallace, Inglewood Tenants Union
Attendees remarked that Mayor Butts was booed at the top of the program then began heaping the usual accolades on himself and his single handedly turning around the city of Inglewood. Butts is used to controlling the narrative and conversation by limiting comments and shutting down speakers during city council meetings, but those tactics weren’t at his disposal during this panel.
When posed a question by Damien Goodman, Butts became visibly agitated and responded with a snarky remark “if you were listening…I’m not here to debate…”. He left twenty minutes into the discussion.
This prompted Rep Waters to respond that she IS here to debate and throughout the Town Hall spoke about getting rid of elected officials who aren’t representing people’s interests. Rep. Waters has endorsed Mayor Butts for his last two election cycles.
Also on the agenda is the usual annual request to assess owners property taxes for unpaid trash bills, purchasing more police cars and electric police bicycles, approving consultants, spending $800,000 of a combination of Prop C and Metro Local Return Prop A funds on (8) vehicles for the paratransit program, which residents interpret as a tool to shuttle folks to/from the NFL stadium once opened. City Manager Artie Fields signature is missing from the staff report.
Finally, the Inglewood Housing Authority is requesting a public hearing on their Annual 2019-2020 Plan. The plan was not signed by Interim Housing Manager Melanie McDade, but instead by Inglewood CFO/Assistant City Manager David Esparza.
The plan outlines program implementation strategies and seeks to conduct public meetings where the public can give input to the Resident Advisory Board (RAB), however, the current members don’t appear to have the residents best interests at heart and their is also a position that is vacant.
Mayoral appointee Odest Riley Jr., is regularly seen on social media hobnobbing at city events. He regularly posts photos of himself with Steve Ballmer of the Clippers, which wouldn’t be possible if he weren’t attached to the mayor. His social media commentary centers around promoting home ownership and not much sympathy for city renters, despite he himself being one.
Councilman George Dotson has appointed Cynthia Moore; Councilman Alex Padilla has appointed his son Alex Padilla Jr.. Both 2UrbanGirls and the Daily Breeze have discussed Councilman Padilla’s family benefiting from the NFL stadium prior to the deal being disclosed to the public.
Councilman Eloy Morales has appointed Lennox School District Board member Sergio Hernandez (whose district is near insolvent), Councilman Ralph Franklin has appointed Cynthia McClellan.
Two positions are to be filled by program participants of which one is still vacant. This membership is tilted to the benefit of the same folks who helped create this housing crisis and doesn’t appear they will do anything to ease the burden of Inglewood renters if they want to remain in those seats.