The weekly staff meeting was convened and after the formalities, the mayor opened the floor for public comments. Two individuals alleged that the city was not transparent in providing millions to stadium developers.
Mayor James T. Butts quietly endured the unsavory remarks and asked Mr. Thomas, a City of Inglewood staffer, familiar with the funds Inglewood had received and disbursed related to the ongoing developments, to answer a few questions that directly addressed the incorrect assertions made by the disgruntled and ill-informed citizens.
Specifically, Mayor Butts asked about the $2.5 million in the funding agreement, He asked if any city funds would be used related to the needed services to support the development and the answer was zero. He asked how much of the city’s money would be used to support the Murphy’s Bowl and the answer was zero. He asked how much money the received for the C & A and the result was a net benefit of $1.5 million to the City of Inglewood as a result of a non-refundable fee.
After conducting further city business, the mayor again opened the floor to public comment and another disgruntled resident expressed her concern over the gentrification of Inglewood, the cost of housing for homeowners and renters and her belief that homeowners were being forced out of their homes. Again, the mayor gave the speaker an opportunity to speak and after her time had been depleted, he asked how were Inglewood Homeowners being forced to move. The speaker became frustrated and declared that she could not answer the mayor’s questions. The mayor assured those in attendance that no one was forced to sell their home.
Several individuals cited a recent article in the Los Angeles Times concerning the financial condition of the Inglewood Unified School District. One speaker suggested that donations should be solicited from the businesses that are coming to Inglewood while another speaker said that the education of Inglewood’s children begins at home with parents who are responsible, engaged and concerned.
The council members continued with the business announced on the meeting agenda and ended with comments from individual council members.
Councilmember George Dotson congratulated those who were honored at the recent Inglewood Police Department Badge Ceremony where nine new officers were sworn in and three existing officers were promoted, as well as the appointment of several staff personnel. Each council member added their congratulations to the IPD, when they spoke.
Dotson also reported on the grand opening of the Cycle and Training Center on Nutwood Street and commented on the fact that housing costs throughout the State of California are rising and that it is not just an Inglewood problem.
Councilmember Alex Padilla announced that Inglewood’s rate of unemployment had dropped from 17.5 percent to 5.5 percent, noting the economic development that the city has been experiencing. He also thanked the Rotary Club and Inglewood staff for their support of the Saturday event where a broad range of supplies were collected for seniors.
Councilmember Franklin announced that the grand opening of Center Park will take place on April19th at 3660 W. 111th Street. It will feature state of the art amenities.
Councilmember Eloy Morales indicated that parks in the 2nd District were also being upgraded and he explained that the council is addressing the parking and traffic concerns that many citizens have expressed.
Finally, Mayor Butts closed the meeting with an impromptu message about the city’s progress. He indicated that in the past, citizen’s complaints were usually about unpaved roads, trees that need trimming and other routine municipal issues. Now, the complaints seem to center around multi-million dollar investments in the City of Inglewood and ill-informed facts about the city’s financial participation in those developments.
The mayor said that no one can be forced to leave and suggested that with a population that is 51 percent Hispanic and 47 percent black, demographics will change slightly but that will occur gradually and over time. He noted that the City of Inglewood is now characterized as a desirable city and that ‘we have no shame for that.’


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