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Council Meeting Recap: Aug 1, 2023

All council members were present for the Tuesday, Aug 1, City Council meeting. Open session started at 6:34 p.m. and ended at 8:50 p.m. Here's what you missed:


Upset residents seek guidance from Council after Lincoln Memorial Cemetery Closure. Distraught family members of deceased relatives buried at the Lincoln Memorial Cemetery gathered at City Hall to share their grievances of the sudden, unexplained closure of the graveyard and implored the council to do something.

Earlier in July, the Lincoln Memorial Cemetery decided to close without any warning. Ever since then visitors trying to pay their respects are met with a padlocked gate and a sign from the City stating that the owners are unreachable. “The City of Carson has attempted to contact the cemetery however there is no one on-site and the phone number listed is out of service” according to the sign.

While many speakers behooved the Council to take action, Mayor Davis-Holmes and the City Attorney explained that the City has no authority in this matter. "The City has no jurisdiction over a private cemetery," said City Attorney Sunny Soltani, "the entity that's responsible is called the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau. They have a website: cfb.ca.gov . Their phone number is (916) 547-7870."

The City Attorney did offer some non-legal advice for those who have purchased a plot at the Cemetery, "I'm not your lawyer. I can't give you legal advice, but I can tell you that you have property rights and there are a ton of lawyers that if you Google 'Cemetery and Funeral lawyer' they will probably represent you [...] I don't know anything about this. But I do know there are lawyers that specialize in this, and they can help with getting your property rights for you." said Soltani.

Despite the City’s lack of jurisdiction, the council did request City staff to send a letter to the State to address this issue immediately.

Councilmember Cedric Hicks acknowledged for being elected President of South Bay Cities Council of Governments. The Mayor and the Council praised their fellow colleague Councilmember Cedric Hicks on his recent election in becoming chair of the 2023/2024 South Bay Cities Council of Governments (The SouthBay COG) board, marking the first time since its inception 30 years ago that a City of Carson representative was put in the agency’s driver’s seat.

The South Bay COG is a joint powers authority government agency of 16 cities and other unincorporated areas in Los Angeles County that cooperate with each other to improve the South Bay area. Its board consists of elected officials from each member City who work towards advancing the South bay's quality of life by improving the environment, transportation, affordable housing, technology, and homelessness.

Being the first chair from the City of Carson, Hicks guaranteed to feature all of the amenities his home town has to offer, “I know many of the South Bay's other cities have been showcased more so than the City of Carson. I just want to make sure that this City shines and this City shows out in regards to what we're doing on energy efficiency, transportation needs and services that we have in the city of Carson."

The South Bay Cities Council of Governments issued a press release Councilmember Hicks' main goals as chair of the board which you can view below: https://ci.carson.ca.us/content/files/pdfs/council/PR-Hicks2023.pdf


CSUDH introduces Basic Needs Program. Representatives from California State University, Dominguez Hills’ Toro Campus Awareness, Response, & Education (CARE) Team introduced the Basic Needs Program, and shared the progress that the University has made to combat food insecurity.

CSUDH’s Basic Needs Program was established in 2018 to assist those students experiencing food, housing, transportation, and mental health insecurities on campus. The program provides several resources both on and off campus.

The University conducted a study, when the program was first implemented in 2018, which found 41% of its students were experiencing food security and 10.6% were either homeless or had housing insecurity, according to the program’s coordinator Morgan Kirk. “Now we conducted the same exact study at Dominguez Hills in 2019, and we found that 61.3% of our students are food insecure and 15.6% our students were housing insecure” said Kirk mentioning that the next study will be conducted in fall of 2024.

According to the presentation, the Basic Needs Program opened three separate food pantries which fed 4,525 students perishable and non-perishable food in Spring of this year. The non-perishable food for the pantries are regularly supplied by 16 community donors on a consistent basis. Additionally, the program is constructing a new facility called ‘Teddy’s Pantry’ which will provide refrigeration, deep freezers, case management, and food demos.

For more information visit the link below: torolink.csudh.edu/organization/toroshelpingtoros


Neighborhood Pride Program Applications begins Monday, Augusts 14! The 2023 application window for low to moderate income homeowners to apply for home repairs, blight elimination, resources-efficient construction, disabled access improvements and more starts on Monday, August 14.

The Neighborhood Pride Program (NPP) will provide three percent deferred loans which will be made available to eligible households whose income does not exceed the 80% of Area Median Income adjusted for household size by HUD guidelines. Program loans may be up to $25,000. Any loan over the $25,000 limit must be approved by the City Manager not to exceed $50,000.

Alternatively, the NPP can provide a program grant to eligible households whose income does not exceed the 80% of area median income adjusted for household size. A program grant may not exceed $20,000 for single-family detached residential properties, and a maximum of $15,000 for mobile homes. NPP grants are approved by the Housing Committee.

Eligible applicants may only receive either a program grant or a program loan, but not both, except as outlined for emergency repairs determined by the program inspector. There is a limit of one program loan or one program grant per eligible applicant.

Visit https://ci.carson.ca.us/communitydevelopment/NPP.aspx or see the flyer below for more information:

City Council agree to oppose AB 309 and SB 584 as amended. The City of Carson continues to add onto its advocacy list of State bills this time by sending letters to oppose AB 309 and SB 584 as currently written.

Assembly Bill 309, otherwise known as the Social Housing Act, seeks to make the California Housing Authority an independent entity in state government for the purpose of developing social housing for all California residents. According to the letter, “Cities would have no ability to regulate zoning or development standards, including floor area ratios, height limitations, or density requirements."

SB 584 establishes the Laborforce Housing Financing Act of 2023, creating a 15% short-term rental occupancy tax across the state to fund the creation of laborforce housing. In their letter, the City Council opposes the statewide tax as Cities already implement their own Transient Occupancy Tax. “Imposing a 15% statewide tax on top of existing local rates averaging 10% would cripple this critical local revenue source for these communities by making the cumulative TOT a fiscal burden for tourists who would like to visit the community and invest in the local economy.”


*Please note that the City Council will not meet again until the first Tuesday of September.

 

Events:






  • Successful City-run Cooking Program invites you to Cooking with Chef T. Jackson - Gala Food Tasting Event: Wednesday, August 9, 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., at Anderson Park











  • Tour de Carson: Saturday, August 12, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. starts at California State University, Dominguez Hills

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