A dozen enthusiastic residents showed up on the ninth floor of City Hall Tuesday, wearing green tee-shirts in support of the City of Champions Revitalization Initiative. A signature drive is underway to get the initiative for a sports stadium in Inglewood on the ballot.
On Board for the Stadium
Inglewood Citizen Police Oversight Commissioner, Adrianne Sears, told the council, “I am here to say yes, I will support you in building a world class sports and entertainment center…that will be the envy of a nation, and all of this at no cost to us, the tax payers.”
Another resident, who “witnessed the delivery of 42 boxes full of signatures to get the initiative on the ballot” said the proposal will bring thousands of jobs to Inglewood and strengthen businesses.
MaxineToler said, “The initiative would put Inglewood at the center of the sports universe and give back hometown pride, even though I am so proud already.”
“Regarding the initiative, I look out here and I see everybody in support of what we’re doing. “We are the talk of the town because we’re doing something that is positive. This is certainly one of the few win-wins in life that you get,” Councilman Alex Padilla said.
Not everyone wants a sports center in Inglewood. Diane Sombrano reminded residents that the project would bring more traffic and noise. She doesn’t think most Inglewood residents will benefit. “Once again we are asked to help a millionaire and his billionaire friends get rich off us,” she said, alluding to Stan Kroenke, the St. Louis Rams owner who purchased property in Inglewood for what many suspect will be used as a pro football stadium
City Clerk Yvonne Horton said her office has received 22,000 signatures for the initiative. Mayor James Butts said he was thrilled, but reminded folks, “Nothing happens until those signatures are verified.”
During a public hearing, Public Works Director Louis Atwell asked the council to amend an ordinance that will allow the Inglewood Municipal Code (IMC) to establish the Regent Circle Permit Parking District.
More than 90 percent of residents, many of them seniors, have signed in favor of permit parking. The cost of permits is $5 per year, per car. Residents hope permits will help alleviate parking problems caused by nearby businesses whose employees use the spaces on Regent Circle.
Residents overwhelmingly supported the permits, but said businesses in the area should pay for permits as well. One man noted the proposed 80,000-seat stadium could turn into a parking nightmare with people looking for free street parking, and taking up residential spaces.
Mayor James Butts answered critics who stated the stadium would cost the city massive amounts of money. “There are some people that want to comment (that) there are massive costs that would be covered by the general fund. . .Until the City obtains $25 million in a given year, there would be no reimbursement. There will never be a year where one check will be written from the general fund. The reimbursement will come from tax credits.”
City Treasurer Wanda Brown announced free income tax services will be offered to all seniors through her office. The service will apply to those who file using W-2 and 1099 forms.
Council members praised the hard work of MLK organizers, staff and volunteers who made last week’s Martin Luther King Day program, symbolic march and family festival the largest celebration the city has seen.
Councilman George Dotson said MLK speech contest winners from Inglewood elementary, middle and high schools will receive awards at the Feb. 10 council meeting.
“Martin Luther King Day was amazing and we brought the march back. It is these symbolic things that bring the city back to where it should be,” Councilman Eloy Morales said.
Councilman Ralph Franklin thanked Southern California Edison for its “surprise” backpack giveaways at Inglewood and Morningside high schools on Jan. 23. “Every student received a backpack filled with supplies, and inside each backpack was a flier about scholarships. Students can apply for 30 scholarships at the end of this year, valued at $40,000 each.”
“This was the biggest Martin Luther King Day ever!” Mayor Butts said. “We had some people come over from L.A.’s King Day Parade to Inglewood’s parade. When did you ever think that would happen?”
More Money for Sound Insulation
Inglewood residents are enjoying a bit more peace and quiet—at least from airplane noise—even as they push for a stadium that will bring the noise back. “The City received a $44 million grant from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to complete residential sound insulation. Calling it “the largest grant LAWA has ever given to any city,” Butts said the funds will allow end-of-the-block residents to have access to the program. The City has averaged about 1000 homes per year since getting the program back on track in 2013.
On Thursday, Jan. 29, Betty Griffin, Director of the Residential Sound Insulation Program, will meet with Dotson at the District 1 I-COP Center, 2901 Manchester Blvd., and answer questions about the program. The meeting will be held at 6 pm.
Franklin reminded residents who have not applied for sound insulation to do so as soon as possible: “The sun sets at the end of this year, and if you are not on board by September, you’re too late.”