“I love representing Culver City,” State Senator Holly Mitchell (SD-30) declared at the beginning of the meeting. “I think of you all as the jewel in the middle of the district.”
While City Council meetings are usually scheduled for Monday evenings, the meeting that took place on Tuesday November 27, 2018 was at noon to work with the senator’s schedule, and give the council a unique opportunity to catch up on what was going on in Sacramento, as well as keep Mitchell informed on the council’s progress with the city.
Led by Mayor Thomas Small, the meeting covered extensive ground on the General Plan Update, the workshops on transportation and housing, infrastructure concerns and the lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration in regard to flight noise. The senator spoke about the new governor coming in, her work on the budget and the focus for her final term in office.
Mitchell began by introducing Hannah Cho, her new district director, who was replacing Sydney Kamlager, the new Assemblywoman for the 54th District.
“I started in 2010, ” Mitchell offered “the same time as Governor Brown, and we have seen a lot of change in the last eight years.” Observing the California had been in a deep recession and steep decline, she was pleased to note that “the new budget is the biggest we have ever had, $200 billion dollars, and that the state has a surplus of $6 billion shows how completely we have turned things around. We also have a new governor coming in, and what his focus and priorities are, we will soon discover.”
Cautioning the council to remember that the budget that passed in the capitol would only have a brief moment before the new administration took office, “We will need to look to the May revise to get the real numbers,” citing the annual revision of the state budget in late spring.
When it was the council’s turn to report in to the senator, (Daniel Lee was the only council member not in attendance) , the mayor began with the General Plan Update and the workshops that had been held to build more community involvement. The big goals for the council – putting an end to oil drilling in the Inglewood Oil Field, addressing the housing shortage and traffic/transportation issues, and resolving the looming pension crisis – were all taken up by individual council members.
Senator Mitchell spoke of traveling to Utah to study their solution to homelessness, and to Buhtan to study their ‘no waste/zero garbage’ culture.
The next solid step forward for the city and the state will be to deal with infrastructure issues. and a plan to repave Overland Avenue from Ballona Creek to Washington Boulevard is already on the calendar. Many more local streets will be addressed under the plan, using a ‘three inch grind and overlay or cold in place recycling” to resurface.
Culver City City Manager John Nachbar asked Senator Mitchell to look into the data on the online sales tax passed in the last election, noting that major slice of the city budget was dependent on the sales tax, and that the city wanted to know what those numbers would look like.
With her next term set as her last in Sacramento, Mitchell was focused on getting as much accomplished as possible. The council, with many deadlines in many different directions, also reflected the urgent need for solutions.
Photo – Culver City council members Alex Fisch, Meghan Sahli-Wells, Mayor Thomas Small, Senator Holly Mitchell and council member Goran Eriksson.