Council Meeting Recap: Nov 3, 2021
All council members were present for the Wednesday, Nov. 3 City Council meeting. Open session started at 5:05 p.m. and ended at 9:37 p.m. Here's what you missed:
City of Carson to file Civil lawsuit as frustrations rise over continued Dominguez Channel stench. City staff has been directed to file a multi-jurisdictional civil lawsuit over the lack of information and response-time urgency of the Dominguez Channel Odor incident from LA county officials. Frustrations reached a boiling point during an update from LA County Public Works when the Incident Commander in charge of the Dominguez Channel, Russ Bryden, declined to accept any follow-up questions from the council. When Councilmember Jawane Hilton asked ‘why not?’ the incident commander simply replied “I, as incident commander, am involved in detailed on the ground operations. Questions coming from your council I think would better be addressed from our joint information center.” Even Councilmember Cedric Hicks’s simple question of how long it would take to get the smell out of the city was not answered but asked to be emailed to a joint information center. A discontented Councilmember Hilton let the public know that the council had enough. “As elected officials we are particularly frustrated. This is why the city… gave direction to go ahead and file this multi-jurisdictional lawsuit tonight because these are the same type of answers we are getting all the time and we don’t have answers for our residents and it is unacceptable.”
Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes included that city staff has been instructed to hire an outside investigator and request the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) get involved.
According to the city's press release released on Nov. 4: The deadline for reimbursement of HEPA air filters with activated charcoal (carbon), portable air purifiers and temporary relocation has been extended to Thursday, November 11, 2021, unless otherwise extended. Residents who have been assisted by the City of Carson and temporarily relocated to hotels will have their stay extended until Friday, November 12, 2021, unless otherwise extended.
Item authorizing additional Credit Cards and increasing the credit limit to $80,000 per card during declared emergencies continued to next meeting. A consent item which seeks to increase city’s credit purchasing power during declared emergencies was continued to the next meeting after concerns were raised by City Treasurer Monica Cooper. The need for the increase in credit was a result of the difficulty city staff experienced booking hotel rooms to relocate residents impacted by the Dominguez Channel Hydrogen Sulfide smell. According to Finance Director Tarik Rahmani, staff recommended the issuance of three new credit cards to two assistant city managers and a senior buyer, increasing the credit limit to $80,000 per card, and approving purchase orders to acquire sandbags, generators, port a potties, and other needed emergency items. The item would have passed without discussion as part of the consent calendar, however Councilmember Jawane Hilton pulled the agenda item to allow the City Treasurer to express her concerns. She cited a lack of responsibility from a few unnamed city staff members who currently hold purchasing cards (P-card) for the city and urged the council not to increase the credit limit but instead to review and control guidelines on how the city processes credit payments monthly. City Manager Sharon Landers argued that at the very least 2 credit cards should be issued in case the City Treasurer can not be reached during an emergency. They both agreed that if new cards are issued, that they be used for declared emergencies only.
According to the Finance Director, the city currently has four P-cards held by the City Manager, the Emergency Services Manager, and two senior buyers.
First Reading of Food and Organics Recycling and Related Solid Waste Ordinance passes. To comply with SB 1383 the council introduced and passed a new municipal code chapter 11 to article V which addresses the mandate of organic waste generators, haulers, and other entities subject to the new state law. The ultimate target is to reduce organic waste disposal by 75% and increasing edible food recover by 20% by 2025 according to a presentation by staff from the City attorney’s office. The city’s new ordinance includes the following:
Recycling requirements for single-family generators and commercial businesses;
Recovery requirements for commercial edible food generators and food recovery organizations;
Service requirements for haulers;
Waivers for commercial waste generators;
Initial procurement requirements for city departments, service providers, and vendors;
Inspections, investigations, and enforcement.
In addition to adopting this ordinance, SB 1383 requires that the City have other enforceable mechanisms in place for compliance with the CalGreen Building Standards Code (CalGreen) and a Model Water Efficient Landscaping Ordinance (MWELO) in the future. SB 1383 takes effect Jan 1, 2022. By then, all jurisdictions in California must have passed a mandatory organic waste disposal reduction ordinance.
COVID booster information. Individuals seeking a COVID-19 booster shot may choose a vaccination from a different company than their initial shots. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently approved a ‘Mix and Match’ approach to receiving a COVID-19 booster shot according to the COVID presentation by Emergency Services Manager Raymond Cheung. Individuals 65 and older, 18+ living in long term care settings, with underlying medical conditions, or work/live in high-risk settings are eligible to make an appointment for a booster shot. Under the new guidelines, individuals who received either the initial Pfizer or Moderna doses may receive a booster shot from either the other company starting 6 months after their 2nd dose, but not from Johnson and Johnson. On the opposite side, patients who received the J&J vaccination may receive a booster shot from any of the three major vaccines, beginning two months after their initial dose.
Initial Election results show Arleen Rojas winning District 4, City Council Race and Myla Rahman winning City Clerk spot. By the end of Tuesday, initial election results coming from Los Angeles County depicts voters choosing Arleen Rojas to represent District 4 on the council and Myla Rahman for City Clerk. Both ladies are leading over four other challengers. Both Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Dear congratulated the winners and thanked all who ran for upholding the democratic process. “I think as a city, out of respect for those two, we should expeditiously move forward with certifying the election,” said MPT Dear, “As soon as LA County approves it, we should approve it and get Myla Rahman into the city clerk’s position as soon as possible. We don’t have a city clerk, we don’t have a chief deputy city clerk. And bringing Arleen Rojas forward onto the city council as soon as possible will be the wisest decision for us as a City Hall.” Mayor Davis-Holmes agreed mentioning that the latest the two should be sworn in is on the first meeting in December.
The council made the following Proclamations:
Recognizing the month of November as National Diabetes Awareness Month.
Recognizing the month of November as Prematurity Awareness Month.
Recognizing the month of November as Indigenous Peoples Month.
Recognizing November 27 as Small Business Saturday.
Recognizing the week of November 14 - 20 as LA vs HATE - United Against Hate Week.
The City and Los Angeles County Sanitation District recognized over 30 Carson Companies for complying with waste requirements. 30 Industries and Agencies in Carson were highlighted by during the meeting for being ‘good corporate citizens’ and meeting industrial waste requirements.
Veterans Day Celebration - Veterans Park, Thursday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Country Western Fair - Dominguez Park, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.