Inglewood City Council continues to take advantage of the lack of public participation in the weekly city council meetings. As CA Governor Gavin Newsom has relaxed certain provisions of the Brown Act, it makes it more difficult for members of the public to weigh in on city actions listed on the agendas.
With the nation under a quarantine, and residents being required to remain at home, Inglewood residents are crying foul that the city will continue to issue parking tickets, and defer late fees until after city council terminates the local emergency.
When residents compared other cities forgoing parking citations, Mayor Butts said they don’t make decisions to be popular, they do what’s best for the city.
In the meantime, the council continues to bend over backwards for developers.
This week’s council agenda will approve advanced fund agreements for two proposed development projects.
ARYA Premiere Collections LLC will deposit $66,035 for an environmental impact study for a 14 story hotel at 3820 W. 102nd Street. Documents registered with the state of California show ARYA is owned by 102nd Inglewood, LLC, which has yet to be properly registered. Both companies are based out of Santa Monica.
Prairie Station LLC, a Delaware based company, will deposit $59,841 with the city for an environmental study for a 392 unit residential complex, which includes 60 designated as “affordable” at Prairie and 113th Street. The original agreement, dated September 18, 2018, called for 485 luxury market rate rentals, but due to the many lawsuits the city is entangled in, over affordable housing mandates, the development has been scaled back.
The location is at the border of Hawthorne and Inglewood, behind a former used car dealership. The dealership was associated with Repossess Auto, who has extensive holdings through a councilman for the city of Hawthorne. At one time, the dealership provided Mayor Butts with a Lexus SUV truck that wasn’t reported on his annual statement of economic interest forms.
Prairie Station is registered to 626 Isis Ave., in Hawthorne, which doesn’t exist. The address does however exist in the city of Inglewood, which is the same address for KP Properties Inc, who was involved in litigation with the city of Inglewood, surrounding an auto mall that houses CarMax and formerly Hooman Hyundai.
KP Properties owners, Michael and Louise Koper, at one time alleged Mayor Butts was using his personal email to conduct city business, as they were charged with holding former properties owned by the Inglewood Redevelopment Agency, to avoid transferring funds to the Department of Finance. The Koper’s alleged the city was opening businesses, on their property, without their permission and went through the water department to cease the activity.
The city tried extensively to recoup funds from the Koper’s, which proved difficult due to the switcheroo of parcel numbers. The city eventually settled the lawsuit, and owed the Koper’s millions. Most properties attached to the Koper’s are former properties owned by the Inglewood Redevelopment Agency.
Prairie Station LLC’s agent of service, William “Bill” Hasan, a former car dealership owner at 120th and Hawthorne, is heavily involved in the political scene of nearby city of Hawthorne.
According to the staff report, the city doesn’t have the resources to conduct the necessary environmental studies, so the funds will be transferred to Environmental Sciences Associates for completion.
The city is accepting offers related to property at 113-133 Plymouth Street. The plan is to develop 20 townhouses and the property needs to be subdivided to sell the units individually. The agreement calls for the creation of a homeowners association.
Due to the pending opening of SoFi Stadium, the city is expending hundreds of thousands of dollars, of asset forfeiture funds, to purchase radios, and voice dictation equipment. Residents have yet to see any of these funds used for activities for the city’s youth. The General Fund will purchase six utility vehicles for use at the stadium as well.
Kane, Ballmer & Berkman, will have their legal services contract increased by $250,000. Royce Jones, the city’s lead attorney, continues to utilize office space that the city has no lease agreement with. City employees cry foul that Jones’ sister Sheila, is paid in excess of $100,000 per year to “manage” the city’s IT Department, despite her only experience being the mother of Mayor Butts’ goddaughter, who also at one time worked in City Hall. Employees continue to hint to a more personal relationship existing between the Mayor and Ms. Jones.
Finally, Assemblywoman Autumn Burke is renewing the lease for her City Hall office, which also calls for 4% annual rent increases. Unlike Kane, Ballmer & Berkman, a copy of her lease is available for the public’s review. The lease is for five years, and assumes she will continue to be elected through 2024. The signature for City Manager Artie Fields is outright peculiar and inconsistent.
Will a raid of Inglewood City Hall be next on the FBI’s schedule?