Inglewood Leaders Ignore Voters–Privatize Traffic Enforcement

Inglewood-Council-400.jpgIn a move that appears to be motivated by corporate cronyism and political patronage, the Inglewood City Council approved a hastily constructed plan to hand control of parking enforcement over to a private corporation.
The Council OK’d the plan on Tuesday night by a vote of 3-2. Mayor James Butts and Councilmembers Eloy Morales and Judy Dunlap all voted for the plan.
“I’m disappointed,” said Paul Hawkins, a traffic officer and Inglewood resident who’s worked for the city for over 20 years. “We’ve served this community and now the city is turning its back on us.”
The vote came after dozens of Inglewood citizens voiced their opposition to handing control of  city streets to a private corporation. Several speakers noted that Duncan Solutions, a potential bidder that could win the multi-million dollar contract to take over parking enforcement in Inglewood, moved into office space in City Hall a few months ago.
“I’m pretty sure Duncan had a hand in writing the legislation,” said Hawkins, who lives in Inglewood. “We’re just the little guy fighting against the conglomerate.”
The plan to give away traffic control has been shepherded by City Manager Artie Fields. He says it’s necessary because the city faces a budget shortfall.
But Councilmember Ralph Franklin pointed out in a fiery speech that if the budget were in such dire straits, then Fields had an obligation to provide an accurate budget report to the Council, which he never did.
Councilmember Mike Stevens agreed and motioned for a one week extension to examine other ways to address the budget shortfall–if one in fact exists. His motion failed to pass.
Because of the Council’s hasty and reckless actions, about twenty Inglewood workers will lose their jobs.
SEIU 721 members who are targeted in the layoffs should contact David Sanders at (213) 738-8433.
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