Inglewood, CA--The quest to fill the mayor's seat that began when, incumbent Roosevelt Dorn was forced to retire, is just the latest move in the rough and tumble world of Inglewood politics. And although the election June 8 will determine who could ultimately take over the reins of this 101-year-old city, that won't stop the domino effect that was unleashed by Dorn's resignation.
That is because three current city council members--Judy Dunlap, Ralph Franklin and Daniel Tabor as well as City Treasurer Wanda Brown--are among the nine candidates on the ballot.
In order to win the office outright, a candidate would have to garner 50 percent plus one vote in June. If this does not happen, the top two vote getters will meet in a run-off election potentially on Aug. 17, and the winner would take office by early September.
If one of the winners is a sitting elected official, according to the city clerk's office the city council has a number of options: appoint some fulfill the unexpired term until the next election in April 2011; call for a special election, which would be an expensive proposition, said the city clerk or leave the seat vacant until the next election.
The likelihood of a run-off is a distinct possibility because each of the incumbent elected officials have strong and loyal followings. Additionally, voter turn-out for Inglewood elections has traditionally been low. As residents consider the nine candidates seeking their votes, there are some tough issues that must be addressed, and most prominent among those is the Inglewood Police Department.
According to published reports, Inglewood police shot and killed 11 people between 2003 and 2009, and five of them were unarmed. A 12th man was shot just last month, after he allegedly lunged toward officers with an ax. The shootings prompted numerous investigations. The following is a look at the candidates running and their positions on the issues in their own words.
Why do you want to be mayor, and what unique skills, talents will you bring to the job?
Brown: I believe with my education, experience and leadership, I can provide the kind of leadership needed to unite and move Inglewood. It is an All-American City with the potential to be even greater. I have bachelor of science and MBA degrees with an accounting emphasis as well as post-graduate studies in accounting.
Tabor: I want to use the formal education, administrative and budget experience, leadership abilities, and communication skills I have developed in 37 years of public service in the cities of Inglewood, Santa Monica and Los Angeles. I have both a bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration. I have been responsible for the administration of several multi-million dollar budgets, the last of which at $116 million was 31 percent larger than the $88 million general fund of the City of Inglewood. I was responsible for the performance of more than 1,100 employees versus the 733 full-time employees of Inglewood. My city needs a mayor with a vision of what Inglewood can become that will motivate and inspire all stakeholders; One who can identify the core of issues and opportunities and focus the conversation on those to create a coherent plan of action.