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Council Meeting Recap: May 18, 2021

All council members were present for the Tuesday, May 18 City Council meeting. Open session started at 6:03 p.m. and ended at 10:53 p.m. Here's what you missed:


Four New Hires Introduced. The city's hiring spree continues with three new hires in the Public Works Department and one new hire in Human Resources. Human Resources Director Fay Mosely introduced to the council Jon Sakamoto as the Sanitation Officer, Jesus Sanchez as an Associate Civil Engineer, Marcel Bell as the Warehouse Supervisor, and Jimmy Alcantar as an HR Specialist. Sakamoto previously was a project manager for Uretek USA Inc and will be tasked with implementing a new mandate that will track recycling of organic and construction waste as well as illegal dumping. Sanchez previously was an Assistant Engineer for the city of Upland and will oversee various street improvement projects and the HVAC replacement at the Community Center. Bell previously worked as a Senior Event Manager at the Staples Center and Alcantar was an Human Resources Specialist at the City of Pasadena.


Los Angeles County Sanitation District presents giant Food Waste Recycling Program. Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes invited the Los Angeles County Sanitation District's Senior Engineer, Basil Hewitt, to present to the public a recycling program which converts food waste to energy by using 'anaerobic digestion'. According to Hewitt's presentation, every California jurisdiction will have to implement an Organics Diversion Program as required by SB 1383 by Jan 2022. SB 1383 aims to reduce greenhouse gases caused by food waste by diverting organic waste away from landfills to either composting or a process called 'anaerobic digestion'. This process essentially fuels the sanitation district's largest wastewater treatment plant, and any left over energy is then converted to gasoline and sent to a local gas station. Currently the district converts an average of 300 tons of food waste per day to roughly 2,850 gallons of gas and aims to raise that number to 600 tons of food waste says Hewitt. These numbers are only a drop in the bucket as Hewitt observes a minimum 4,000 tons of food waste being thrown out per day in Los Angeles County. He points out that local restaurants and grocery stores may unload any source-separated food waste which can not be donated to a food bank to a local materials recovery facility.


Council yet to decide on City Clerk Vacancy. Deadline to Appoint a Successor approaches June 10. The item on how to fill the city clerk vacancy was continued to the June 1st meeting as the council had not received any recommendations from the City Clerk Vacancy Ad Hoc Committee. The Ad Hoc Committee, consisting of Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes and Mayor Pro Tem. Jim Dear, had not held a meeting as of May 18 but promises to propose a recommendation to the City Council in time. Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes did not seem worried for the June 10 deadline but Councilmember Jawane Hilton expressed his concern saying "time is winding down." If the council announces to fill the city clerk's term by appointment during the June 1st meeting, they would have only 10 days to receive and review all incoming applications and announce a successor.


3rd Budget Workshop indicates City's Vast Deferred Maintenance and Equipment Backlog. For the third budget workshop Finance Director, Tarik Rahmani, prepared detailed information on the city's extensive deferred maintenance and non-capitalized equipment backlogs, the Los Angeles Sheriff contract, Capital Improvement Projects, and the proposed budget for the city's special events fund. Staff has identified 34 deferred capitalized maintenance projects which will cost around $15.6 million and additionally estimated about $750,000 of non-capitalized equipment costs. Additionally, staff asked council to approve a budget appropriation to add one full time risk manager position. The Los Angeles Sheriff contract will increase 1.4% or $301,185 to a total $22,374,413 for fiscal year 2020-2021. The total proposed budget for all active special events hovered around $146,000 but will have to be amended as the council directed staff to include all inactive events including 4th of July Community Day, Day of Unity, Samoan Heritage Day, Samoan Flag Day, Country Western Fair, and Children's Day. Additionally staff proposed appropriating $203,987 to the budget to add a full time risk manager position. The motion failed 2-2 with Mayor Pro Tem Jim Dear and Councilmember Jawane Hilton voting no. Dear worried that the additional cost would curtail the structural balance of the budget, and Hilton expressed concern that adding this to the list of recent new hires will make the city staff too top heavy.


Upcoming Events:

  • Virtual Memorial Day Tribute - Monday, May 31 @ 6 p.m.: Live Stream can be viewed at carsonca.gov/MDT or on local cable channel 35 (Spectrum) and channel 99 (AT&T)

  • 123rd Philippine Independence Day Virtual Celebration - Saturday, June 12 @ 11 a.m.: Live Stream can be viewed at carsonca.gov/PID123 or on local cable channel 35 (Spectrum) and channel 99 (AT&T)

  • Summer Day Camp - June 14 to Aug 6: For Boys and Girls ages 5-12, Carson Residents Only. For more information call Recreation and Human Services Department at (310) 847-3670 or email sjordan@carsonca.gov