All council members were present for the Tuesday, October 20 City Council meeting. Open session started at 6:05 p.m. and ended at 11:00 p.m. Here are the highlights:
Carson agrees to pay a $560,678 Settlement Agreement against Shenkman and CVRA lawsuit. During the last seconds of the meeting the city council voted 3-2 to approve a settlement agreement to the tune of over a half-million dollars for the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project v. the City of Carson case. The city will pay $560,678 to the law offices of Kevin Shenkman for the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs. By agreeing to the settlement terms, the city will have all future elections be by-district based, the city does not admit a violation of the CVRA, and a new district map will have to be adopted following the release of the Census 2020 data. The motion originally did not receive a 2nd when the item was first discussed but after a short closed session meeting, the payment was approved with yes votes by Mayor Al Robles, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Dear, and Councilmember Jawane Hilton.
Carson welcomes Raymond Cheung as new Emergency Services Manager. Carson introduced its new Emergency Services Manager, Raymond Cheung, who will help make the city a more prepared city during times of crises. The new role will be responsible for the city’s disaster and emergency preparedness and response programs including managing and overseeing emergency operations center, radio communications and emergency services vehicles and also managing the city’s school crossing guard program. Cheung touts an impressive resume with over 20 years of experience in military, public safety, and emergency management. He previously worked as Emergency Manager for the City of Ontario, Assistant Emergency Manager for Orange County Sheriff Emergency Manager Division, Emergency Management Specialist for the National Center of Crises and Continuity Coordination, as well as volunteer work helping post hurricane Katrina disaster relief operations for the American Red Cross. Among his accomplishments, Cheung has also served the US military Marine Corps Reserve for 6 years. During the introduction, Raymond ensured the city council that he would use his experiences to bring the city’s commitment to emergency services to the next level, “There is a lot of work to do, but I am very confident that we will see results very soon and we are going to be the best prepared city in the south bay for sure, if not the state.”
Workshop for Imperial Avalon Mobile Estates Resident Relocation set for Wednesday October 28. Carson will hold a workshop regarding the closure of Imperial Avalon Mobile Homes Estates Mobilehome Park at Dignity Health Sports Park on Wednesday October 28 at 11 a.m. The workshop will be catered to residents who are forced to relocate due to the sale of the mobile home park and according to Mayor Al Robles will be broken down to two parts. The first will be an informative presentation so that the residents know what is going on and what relief options are currently available, and the 2nd part will be an open discussion among the attendees of ideas to make the residents whole. After councilmember Jawane Hilton pointed out that the Community Center may not be able to hold all of the mobile home park’s residents at the 25% capacity limit, Mayor Robles suggested switching the location at Dignity Health Sports Park which can hold up to 500 individuals following COVID-19 protocol. Dignity Health Sports Park is located at 18400 S Avalon Blvd, Carson, CA 90746.
City receives 60 donated Chromebook as Wi-Fi begins opening up at Parks. The city will receive 60 donated Chromebooks just as city staff announced that free Wi-Fi has been established in the majority of City parks. City Attorney, Sunny Soltani, and her colleagues at Aleshire & Wynder, LLP are donating 50 Chromebook laptops while CEO of Interwest, Terry Rodrigue, donated an additional 10 laptops. “When I heard that the councilwoman was asking for computers for the community, the Mayor was asking for Wi-Fi, I just thought this is a good cause,” explained Soltani, “I wanted to get behind it and I wanted to have an opportunity to serve the community.” After thanking the City Attorney, Mayor Robles called on other stakeholders in the city to increase the amount of laptops so the city can offer more tools to children who would prefer to do remote learning at city parks. Currently 5 parks offer Wi-Fi while Carson and Del Amo Parks should have free internet in November.
Carson reaches 74% self reporting as Census 2020 comes to a close. Now that the Census count has effectively ended, the City of Carson finished with a 74% final self-response rate. City Manager Sharon Landers indicated that Carson achieved a higher rate than the neighbor-cities, Gardena (71.4%), Long Beach (68.4%), and Compton (64.8%). While the city did not reach its last benchmark from 2010 (74.6%) by less than 1 percentage point, this year’s Census had bigger obstacles to overcome. Even without the obvious 8 month old pandemic, city staff pointed out that several ICE agents were posing as Census counters. City Manger, Sharon Landers, thanked the council for the funds allocations over the past city council meetings. Out of the $70,000 allocated, about $61,000 ended up being used.
Senator Steven Bradford shares new Senate Bills signed into Law. Senator Steven Bradford gave his legislative briefing where he listed the 6 senate bills that he introduced and were recently signed into law by Governor Newsom. Additionally, he also highlighted his “Kenneth Roth Jr. Police Decertification Bill” SB 731, which he hopes will make it to the governor’s desk soon. SB 731 would implement a police decertification process to get rid of bad officers who commit felonies, so they are unable to be fired from one station and get hired at another in the state the next day. California is 1 of only 5 states that does not have a police decertification process. The 6 Senate Bills that were signed into law are:
SB 1447, Small Business Tax Credit – This bill would create the Small Business Hiring Credit Fund in the State Treasury and would provide small businesses a $1,000 tax credit for every rehire or new-hire starting July 1 2020. Small businesses who have lost 50% of their income can access the credit starting Dec. 1.
SB 1157, Renters Tax Reporting Bill – This bill should help responsible renters build up their credit by allowing tenants to voluntarily have their on-time rent reported to a credit bureau. SB 1157 will be the first in the nation as no other state provides credit reporting for renters paying their rent on-time.
SB 203, Juvenile Interrogation Measure – SB 203 aims to help prevent false confessions by kids who may not understand their rights and end up spending decades in prison. Individuals ages 17 and younger who are arrested and brought in for interrogation are required to be allowed legal council before waiving their Miranda Rights.
SB 1244, Cannabis Testing Legislation – This bill would authorize a licensed testing laboratory to receive and test samples of cannabis or cannabis products from a state or local law enforcement, or a prosecuting or regulatory agency in order to test the cannabis or cannabis products. The bill would also clarify that testing conducted by a testing laboratory for state or local law enforcement, a prosecuting agency, or a regulatory agency, is not commercial cannabis activity and would prohibit that testing from being arranged or overseen by the bureau.
SB 1192, Benefits and Relief Bill for Firefighters, Police Officers and Peace Officers – This bill helps make sure that the men and women who get injured working on the front lines get access to their full benefits and rights that they are entitled to.
AB 3088, Landlord and Tennant Protection – This bill will allow tenants who can not pay rent due to COVID-19 to afford a waiver up until Feb. 2021 as long as they make a good faith effort to paying at least 25% of their rent.
Early Voting starts this Saturday. City Clerk Donesia Gause-Aldana announced that voters can start in-person early voting beginning Saturday, October 24 at 10 a.m. Only two locations will open on Saturday and an additional 7 will be added on October 30. You can view all early voting and vote-by-mail Ballot Drop off Locations at https://caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov/.
California State University Dominguez Hills Rooms E1213 and E1218 – 100 E Victoria St, Carson, CA, 90747
Victoria Community Regional Park Multipurpose Room – 419 E 192nd St, Carson, CA, 90746.