Special Council Meeting Recap: Oct 25, 2021
Updated: Oct 28
All council members were present for the Monday, Oct 25 Special City Council meeting. Open session started at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 12:06 p.m. Here's what you missed:
Local Emergency declared as horrid stench from Dominguez Channel continues. The council upgraded the public nuisance proclamation to a local emergency regarding the ongoing foul smells affecting the City and surrounding areas around the Dominguez Channel, called upon LA county and the Governor to proclaim emergencies, and requested a presidential declaration of disaster. Enhancing the public nuisance proclamation, which was declared during the Oct. 11 special city council meeting, to a local emergency was necessary to “cut through some of the red tape” and enable higher levels of government to move forward on the issue, according to Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes. LA County Public Works Director Mark Pestrella joined the meeting to update the public with recent readings on Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) levels. “We continue a downward trend in south coast air quality management district Hydrogen Sulfide readings in the community.” Noted Pestrella, “The most recent readings show 425 parts per billion vs 7,000 parts per billion, which we received 2 weeks ago. Additionally, water samples have previously shown no oxygen in the water and the channel are now showing .5 milligrams per liter of dissolved oxygen and that continues to increase as we inject oxygen into the water.” However, when asked by Councilmember Jawane Hilton regarding a proposed end date to the smell and public nuisance proclamation, Pestrella did not give a definitive answer, mentioning that LA County Public Works’ objective is to reduce the hydrogen sulfide that is being emitted to the level that people in the community can not smell it and is not considered ‘a nuisance.’ According to him, LA County Department of Public Health’s Dr. Muntu Davis with consultation with LA County Public Works and AQMD will ultimately make the recommendation of when the nuisance is abated.
The city has created a dedicated page on their city website, with information on the Dominguez Channel odor including chronological updates, resident assistance phone number and links to file any claims of reimbursement. The City is providing temporary relocation assistance HEPA certified air filters and purifiers to residents affected by the odor. Visit www.carsonca.gov/dominguezodor/ for more information.
Assistant to the City Manager appointed as Elections Official following resignation of Chief Deputy City Clerk. Assistant to the City Manager, Michael George was designated as the city’s election official for the upcoming special election on November 2nd. The move was necessary as according to the staff report, the city’s previous election official and Chief Deputy City Clerk, John Carroll, resigned from his post on Oct. 18. As the only ‘no’ vote, Councilmember Jawane Hilton expressed his concerns as to whether the Assistant to the City Manager was qualified and why this issue was not added as a subsequent need item during the Oct. 19 regular council meeting. City Attorney Sunny Soltani explained that designating the role to the Assistant to the City Manager was appropriate since LA county is overseeing the election and there is little to nothing left to do on the City’s part at this moment. The council has appointed the Assistant to the City Manager as an election official in the past, added Soltani.
*Note: A subsequent need item to increase the number of credit cards and boost their dollar limits during emergencies failed to be added to the agenda in a 3 to 1 vote with Mayor Pro Tem Jim Dear voting no. According to the City Attorney, four affirmative votes are needed to add a subsequent need item.