All council members were present for the Tuesday, Feb. 21 City Council meeting. Open session started at 6:04 p.m. and ended at 8:22 p.m. Here's what you missed:
Carson Accountability and Transparency's 2023 Sai Momoli Civic Excellence Award Ceremony will honor the City of Carson's COVID-19 Task Force. Carson Accountability & Transparency is excited to announce the City of Carson's COVID-19 Task Force as the winners of the 2023 Sai Momoli Civic Excellence Award for their tireless efforts in helping our City during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Created by the City Council during the March 24, 2020 adjourned meeting, the COVID-19 taskforce is a group of essential workers who operated vital programs which helped the City and its residents during the peak of the pandemic. Initially, the group was established to help run the City's COVID-19 testing facility but would soon operate other crucial programs such as, the COVID-19 vaccination pop-ups, the City's Covid-19 Call center, Grab and Go Food distribution, Carson Essentials To Go and other meal delivery programs.
Join us Thursday March 2 beginning at 5:30 pm at Dignity Health Sports Park as we honor the Task Force for their commitment to serving the Carson community. To RSVP and for sponsorship opportunities please email email@example.com.
Carson Sheriff Station narcotics team seize heaps of fentanyl, cocaine, and other drugs in sting operation. Captain Damon Jones of the Carson sheriff station received applause after announcing a successful drug seizure operation which occurred the same day of the council meeting. Along with making 2 arrests, Captain Jones reported confiscating 15,000 fentanyl pills, 2,000 Xanax pills, 2 kilos of cocaine, 3 pounds of methamphetamines, and 3 pounds of pure fentanyl off the street. "For those who may not know,” warned Jones urging the public to say no to life-harming drugs, “illicit fentanyl is 50 times more deadly than heroin and 100 times more deadly than morphine."
After applauding the Captain, the council gave their thanks for keeping Carson safe. Appreciative of all of Jones’ hard work, Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes thanked the captain, “That was good news to hear about all the drugs you were able to take off the streets here in the city of Carson.” Councilwoman and current law enforcement officer, Arleen Rojas, appreciated the Sheriff’s drug enforcement division keeping on eye out for fentanyl, “Thank you, Captain, for the hard work. And good to hear that you do have a special narcotics group that is paying attention to the uprising fentanyl exposure, […] this is something we do need to learn about. And it's on a continual basis that we do educate not just children, but the parents and all of us here.”
Captain Damon Jones also included in his report a warning of harsh winds by the end of the week and warned drivers to take extra precautions around power lines. “If you do see a downed power line, please stay away and dial 911.” Said the Captain.
Finally, Captain Jones announced that the Carson Sheriffs will be attending Carson Accountability and Transparency’s 2023 Sai Momoli Civic Excellence Award Ceremony on March 2 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Mid-year Financial Report continues celebration of strong reserves. The City held its mid-year financial report where council lauded over the historically large general fund. When the 2022-2023 budget was adopted in June of last year, the General Fund balance was estimated to be only $59 million but due to a combination of higher revenues and lower expenditures than anticipated, the recently audited actual fund balance at the beginning of the 2022-2023 fiscal year totaled $107,857,894. As per the Finance Director’s presentation, as of June 2022, $88 million of the general fund is unrestricted surplus and available to use upon the council’s discretion.
Finance Director Tarik Rahmani added more good news, suggesting that revenue actuals for this year will far exceed the $104.8 million originally estimated. Rahmani highlighted several major key contributors to this:
Measure K: The three-quarters-cent (0.75%) local transactions and use tax, which Carson voters passed on November 2020, initially estimated $14 million in revenue but brought in around $18.7 million.
Measure R: The continuation of the 2% Utility Users Tax (UUT), which had its sunset clause removed by voters in 2022, brought in around $9 million.
Measure C: The city conducted an audit of the Oil Business Tax generated since 2019 and as a result received a one time payment via a tax penalty to the tune of $59.6 million.
Last Year’s General Fund revenue actuals equaled $129 million, beating estimates by $36 million (a 39% increase).
Included in the report were city department mid-year requests totaling $1,178,299. These allocations will be considered by the council upon budget approval:
$712,000: To replenish Public Works’ vehicle fleet: 1 CNG Powered Bucket Truck, 4 Midsized Trucks, 1 304 Wheel Loader, 2 F-250 Trucks, 1 Graffiti Truck Pressure Washers
$352,315: Additional 7 Full Time Employees (2 FTE Human Resources, 3 FTE Public Works, 2 FTE Information Technology & Security) and 3 positions reclassification
$300,000: For Public Works CB radios purchases which is required for Emergency Services.
$270,000: For a City-wide compensation study requested by Human Resources to help ensure staff scope of work is in line with their pay.
$257,050: 55th Anniversary events (Gala Ball, Street Fair, Tour De Carson).
$100,000: Requested by Public Works for various plumbing needs at City Parks and City Hall.
$100,000: Requested by Public Works for Street Light Maintenance.
$30,850: Requested by Community Services for 2 additional events for 55th Anniversary (5K Walk and Golf Tournament).
$24,999: Public Safety Emergency Division contract with Eunique A. Day to provide the City with Continuity of Operations Plans.
Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes reminisced on the council’s decisions to bring more money to the City and even gave the previous Mayor some credit. “I just want to say thank you to the former Mayor, Al Robles, and myself. [...] We came together with how we could bring some additional revenue to this city,” said Mayor Davis-Holmes promising to use the extra money on infrastructure and bring the City back to its glory days, “We now have money to invest in the infrastructure of this city, […] we are going to get our city back to where it used to be when we were known as the city with the best streets. Our trees are going to be trimmed and our sidewalks are going to be maintained.”
City Attorney announces court's decision axing Rancho Dominguez Mobile Home Park closure for now. City Attorney Sunny Soltani delivered good news for individuals needing to relocate due to the Rancho Dominguez Mobile Estates closure – the mobile home park shall remain open for now. According to Soltani, court judges made a favorable decision after the park owner sued the City claiming that the city was responsible for paying the relocation benefits. “The courts […] basically entered a judgment that sets aside the park closure ordinance so the park is not closing,” Soltani explained, “if they want to go through a new process, it would be from the beginning and they would have to redo it.” City staff will provide a formal resolution in the near future for the council to replace the park closing ordinance.
Council unanimously rescind mass mailing policy for Councilmembers. The council unanimously approved rescinding local rules on mass mailing for councilmembers to align itself with state law as they were more restrictive than the state. By rescinding local rules, councilmembers can now send 'For Your Information', 'Compliments of', and other mass mail regarding governmental duties which are exempt from state law. The councilmembers agreed that the City’s mass mailing ordinance was archaic since it was established during a time when the council was elected at-large. Consequently, the council will revisit City rules on District Councilmember Events and Town Halls at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
The council made the following Proclamations:
Recognizing Feb 27 as Dominican Republic Independence Day.
Carson Accountability and Transparency's 2023 Sai Momoli Civic Excellence Award Ceremony - Thursday, March 2, 5:30 p.m., at Dignity Health Sports Park. To RSVP and for sponsorship opportunities please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City of Carson 55th Anniversary Celebration Community Planning Meetings. Volunteers needed - Every third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
City of Carson 55th Anniversary Gala Ball - Saturday, Feb 25, 6 p.m., at the Carson Event Center
City of Carson 55th Anniversary Street Fair - Saturday, Jul 29, on Carson Street
City of Carson 55th Anniversary Tour De Carson - Saturday, Aug 12
Free Pet Wellness Clinic - Sunday, Mar. 26, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at City Hall.