Tuesday’s council meeting was light, and focused mainly on Mayor James Butts’ recent town hall meeting, and improving public areas around town.
The Council approved a one-year contract with an accounting firm, a three-year contract for auditing services, and an increased subsidy for $7 to $10 to help seniors and disabled citizens to use Metro public transportation more affordably.
Leroy Fisher continued to speak out against Councilman George Dotson holding his town hall meetings at churches—a subject that he addressed last week. “The church and state ought to be two separate entitles!” he said. He suggested that the District 1 Town Hall meetings be held in City Hall.
“It’s a meeting place, it’s not a church service. The churches are kind enough to let us use their facilities. We don’t have that much space here,” Mayor Butts said.
One man shared his ideas about how to make the Forum more user-friendly. The venue’s circular shape, he said, makes it hard to tell where you are in relation to the outside:
“When you go into the Forum, they need to put up signs—north, east, south and west—to get out of there faster. They need a parking area where people can pick up passengers instead of having to drive around. It wastes time and traffic, especially at night, and when it starts raining, it’s going to get worse. Also, there needs to be phone chargers installed...They need to put cell chargers inside by the restrooms.”
A woman said she was ticketed and her vehicle wrongly towed. Parking enforcement claimed she was blocking a driveway, and she does not agree. “They are telling me that when I park, I should take a picture of wherever I park.”
“You don’t have to do that,” Butts said. “We have an appeals process. You can appeal it on the second floor [but] we cannot overrule a ticket once it has been issued.” The woman gave her contact information to a police officer for follow up.
Ethel Austin reminded Butts of a promise he made to make free Internet service available to everyone in Inglewood. “Remember you promised to try and get Internet for everyone like in L.A. Are you still working on it? “Yes, [but] it’s not going to come in everybody’s house. It’s going to be in public places like Starbucks. We’re going to encourage everyone to spend their money [in those places].”
One woman returned to the council to make another plea for steam cleaning Market Street. “I was here in July. At that time I told you about Market Street. It is absolutely smelling by the CVS Pharmacy and over where the Sparkling Cleaners was.”
On September 13, Mayor Butts hosted a town hall meeting. The agenda covered all the key points of interest to Inglewood—public safety, residential sound insulation, Hollywood Park, Market Street, a new condominium project, street repair, the school district, a new community center, the NFL, and more.
Inglewood heard from several city officials, representatives from Hollywood Park, SCE, Centinela Hospital, business developers and special guest, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters.
“It was great hearing that Congresswoman Maxine Waters is securing federal dollars for our city especially for residential sound insulation,” said Councilman Ralph Franklin.
“That meeting covered everything. Anyone who showed up—when they walked out, they knew everything going on in the City of Inglewood—no doubt. If you were not there, I strongly encourage you to watch the videotape,” Councilman Dotson said. He also announced that his town hall meeting, scheduled for this Saturday, September 20th has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 11, at First Church of God, 9550 Crenshaw Blvd., from 10am to noon.
Councilman Alex Padilla thanked fellow council members for approving city sponsorship of his District 2 Annual Picnic, to be held Sunday, September 28, 2014, from noon to 4pm, at North Park, 625 E. Hargrave Avenue. He invited the public to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by attending the Hispanic Heritage Festival this Saturday, September 20th, at Crozier Middle School, 120 W. Regent Street, from 11am to 4pm.
Televised news coverage of the Mayor’s Town Hall meeting is a sure sign that Inglewood is becoming a city with a regional impact, Councilman Eloy Morales said. “Some of the issues the mayor mentioned are impacting the region, not just the city. The NFL and development of 300-400 market rate homes—believe me—that’s a regional impact.”
“When is the last time you saw a city’s town hall meeting on the news?” Butts asked.
Get in the know! Inglewood City Council meetings are held live every first and third Tuesday at 2pm and every second, fourth and fifth Tuesday at 7pm, on the 9th Floor of City Hall, One Manchester Blvd. Meetings are broadcast on Wednesdays and Fridays at 7pm on Time Warner Cable Channel 35 and on YouTube (www.youtube.com).