Council Meeting Recap: Mar. 2, 2021
All council members were present for the Tuesday, March 2 City Council meeting. Open session started at 5:43 p.m. and ended at 8:40 p.m. Here are the highlights:
City Acquires very first Animal Control Officer. The council welcomed Dayton Shores to the Carson family, the city’s first Animal Control Officer. Shores will offer a variety of services including handling any nuisance, stray, or feral animals, investigating reports of animal cruelty, and enforcing animal control laws. Mayor Pro Tem Jim Dear claimed that the hire would save the city money while providing a better service. “I was talking to a Mayor in a city… where the animal control officer, they call it the ‘dog catcher’ is an elected position. Be careful you don’t do too good of a job.” Dear joked, welcoming Shores to his new position. Shores answered after his introduction, “I am very honored to be first animal control officer for city of Carson. I look forward to getting to know and working with city staff, building a report with city residents and caring for the animals in the city of Carson.” His office can be reached to answer any local animal safety concerns by calling (310) 952-1786.
Few Days remain for Council to Review 46 applicants to Vacant Carson Council Seat. For the first time since Hon. Lula Davis-Holmes took over as Mayor the council was not united in a vote as Councilmember Cedric Hicks’s motion to nominate Jesus-Alex Cainglit to fill the vacant council seat failed 2-2. Mayor Davis-Holmes and Councilmember Hicks stressed the importance of keeping the council as diverse as possible, highlighting the lack of Filipino or Latino representation. They expressed concern that an election would be costly and may not result in a more diverse council. For discussion purposes, Hicks motioned to nominate Jesus-Alex Cainglit to the seat for his Filipino heritage. Mayor Pro Tem Jim Dear voted against the motion saying it was unfair to the other candidates. “We are trying to be more transparent than the former administration, I think it is a play tonight that does not go over well with the public and certainly not the other 45 applicants.“ stated Dear, “So I will vote against the motion to jump the gun tonight.” Councilmember Jawane Hilton also opposed the motion asking to see the applications as they have not been made available to himself or to the public. Mayor Davis-Holmes called for a special council meeting on Mar 11 as the deadline to appoint someone to fill the vacant position falls on Mar 15. She explained that the ad-hoc committee consisting of herself and Mayor Pro Tem Dear will review the list of 46 applicants and come back with a shorter list of key applicants for the special council meeting. City Clerk Donesia Gause-Aldana mentioned that a districted election for around 15,195 registered voters would cost approx. $178,000.
Public Safety added to City Council’s Vision and Mission Top Priorities. The council summarized the Feb 4 City Council Vision and Mission workshop while adding Public Safety as a top priority. During the workshop, City Council was presented with 9 topics Carson will focus on developing, and then was asked to choose which one they felt were the most important. At the time the council decided that quality of life improvements, economic development/community benefits, and governance policies pertaining to districts were deemed the top 3 priorities. However, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Dear did not agree, stating that for him public safety is his #1 priority. Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes requested that public safety be added and the list be changed to reflect the City Council’s top 4 priorities. The workshop report can be found here.
Investment and Cash Report leads to uncertainty in City Finances. The monthly Investment and Cash Report ending Jan 31, 2021 left councilmembers perplexed as to how much money does the city actually have. City Treasurer Monica Cooper presented the report, updating the council on the condition of the city’s General Fund, Investments, and Reserves as of the end of Jan:
General Fund: $21.3 million
Invested Funds: $61.1 million
Successor Agency Funds: $8.1 million
Housing Authority Funds: $3.8 million
Bonds Funds: $2.4 million
Mayor Davis-Holmes asked that an explanation be given at the next regular city council meeting as Cooper’s amounts do not coincide with what the amounts Finance Director Tarik Rahmani presents during his budget workshops. “When you look at [the budget report] it gives a different impression than what we actually have because I’ve been saying we have $43 million but this report is not showing that,” said Mayor Davis-Holmes. Rahmani briefly explained that he believed that the City Treasurer numbers indicate cash flow allocation as it would not make sense to have $43 million all in cash.
Free AARP Tax Program: Mar 1 – Apr 15 at the Carson Community Center. Carson Seniors ages 50+ only can receive free tax preparation via appointment only. Please call (310) 835-0212 ext. 1475 to schedule.
EGGStravaganza: Mar 19 – 31. The city is offering a free contactless egg hunt at local parks. Scan the QR code located on the hidden eggs for a chance to win a goodie basket. Winners must be Carson residents and will be announced on April 1. For more information call (310) 603-9850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org