By Veronica Mackey
Tuesday’s council meeting began with a hearing to consider the Permits and Licenses Committee’s denial of a permit request submitted by Ellesa Maxie to house a third dog at 2703 W. 78th Street, Inglewood, CA, 90305.
Maxie said she has been keeping her sister’s dog until another residence can be found. The animal is an emotional support dog, Maxie said, and lived with her sister until a new landlord threatened eviction if the dog stayed. Despite medical verification, the landlord wouldn’t budge. The sister lives in Palmdale. Maxie asked for another extension until the end of the year, when her sister’s situation should be resolved.
Councilman Ralph Franklin wanted to clarify why the woman needed more time:
“This has been going on since March of this year and you applied in October of last year. There is a question of what is temporary.” He asked Maxie if she was willing to give up one of her other dogs to comply with the ordinance of having no more than 2 dogs per residence.
“What accommodation are you willing to make? What sacrifices are you willing to make?” he asked.
“I think I am sacrificing now. I am not willing to make my dogs homeless. I am asking the City of Inglewood for a couple more months,” she said.
Maxie told the council she submitted all the proper paper work, including medical verification that her sister needed a support dog. Further investigation corroborated her story, and it was discovered that the woman voluntarily notified the City that she would be housing more than 2 dogs.
Mayor James Butts made a motion to allow the woman to keep her sister’s dog until January 31, 2018.
“If you brought it, that’s much better,” Franklin said.
A man from the Second District wants council members to step in and enforce traffic on his street. “There is speeding on Fairview. Drivers tore up my neighbor’s car and my son’s car,” he said. He also talked about burglaries in the area and “infected” magnolia trees.
“We have an arborist coming out and looking at our trees,” Mayor Butts said. “We have a lot of magnolia trees in the city and (problems) when the trees start to die. The good thing is we are at this point in our history where we can worry about sap in our magnolia trees.”
A woman whose rent just went up $350 wants support from the City. “I am seeking help, anything you can do, so it doesn’t happen to others,” she said. Rising rents is an issue which council members have heard regularly for the past few months. Not much had been said about the problem until now.
“We are putting together a developer’s tax to develop a fund to provide money for affordable housing. One way is to provide a stipend to help with capital improvements that they will make, and to freeze rent prices for X number of years. We don’t know how big that fund will grow. I have seen the proposal that our executive assistants are putting forth and it will come before the council shortly,” Butts said.
During closing comments, Councilman George Dotson praised the Parks, Recreation and Library Services Department for their first class magazine. Councilman Alex Padilla thanked the Kaboom! company and local volunteers for their help last Saturday. The playground building company and crew went to work at Parent Elementary School, and were done the same day by 2pm.
Franklin thanked City Manager Artie Fields for his department’s assistance in providing the Inglewood Library with special glasses to view the eclipse, and for making certificates available for the library’s summer reading program.
Mayor Butts circled back to address rising rents and home values. “The housing and trust fund will help people with affordability. (However) property values been increasing since 2012—even before people knew we were going to have a stadium.”
Regarding the extension given to Maxie earlier in the meeting, he said:
“It’s clear today that our commission system works. I will never understand the three extensions to save my life. It would have been unconscionable to tell this woman she couldn’t keep the dog when her sister has been denied her rights under law. It shows me that the system works.”
Council members approved:
An amendment of the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget, transferring funds in the amount of $50,000 from the General Fund Reserves to support program activities for the Inglewood Teen Center
A three-year agreement with HDL Coren & Cone for property tax audit and consulting services and tax revenue recovery
A three-year blanket purchase order (with the option to extend it for another year) for the annual purchase of various maintenance, repair, and operating supplies from Home Depot
Modification to the terms and conditions of employment for employees represented by the Inglewood Police Officers Association
The purchase of additional automation software licenses from Accela, Inc.
An agreement with Helen Lessick for public art consulting
A grant agreement offer with the Federal Aviation Administration in the amount of $20 million for residential sound insulation
The Amended Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Salary Ordinance was introduced. The revised ordinance includes Inglewood Police Officers Association negotiated salary increases
The Public Works Department requested a public hearing to consider an ordinance amending the Inglewood Municipal Code to establish Permit Parking District No. 17. The district includes: 99th Street (between La Brea Avenue and Myrtle Avenue), 98th Street (between La Brea Avenue and Myrtle Avenue), and 97th Street (between La Brea Avenue and Myrtle Avenue). The hearing was set for September 12, 2017.
The City Manager’s Office got the green light to amend the Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule for 2017-2018 (ROPS17-18), for submittal to the Oversight Board for approval consideration.
The Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Financial Statements and Audits for the City of Inglewood and the Inglewood Housing Authority were presented to the council.
The meeting closed in memory of former Inglewood Police Chief Ray Johnson, who has passed away. Chief Johnson served as police chief between 1986 and 1991.