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Former Santa Monica Police Chief Vies for Inglewood's Top Post  

By Ann K. Williams
Staff Writer

January 11, 2011 -- Former Santa Monica Chief of Police James T. Butts will soon know whether Inglewood voters pick him to lead their city.

Last June, Butts went head to head with Inglewood Councilman Daniel Tabor, forcing a run-off election this Tuesday. Butts received 23.71 percent of the vote and Tabor earned 26.38 percent support in a nine-candidate field.

Both candidates claim they can rejuvenate the economy of the city of more than 100,000 residents hit hard by the recession.
“The constituency are very fearful of the future of the city, and I took the challenge,” Butts told The LookOut. “I want to focus on the core issues.”

Those issues, he said, include public safety, infrastructure renewal, public schools and an $18,000,000 deficit.

And 236 acres of land around Hollywood Park, one of Inglewood's largest employers, are slated for development.

If elected, Butts plans to bring in entertainment firms, retail and housing development.

“The city needs to have quality sustainable development,” he said.

Butts' opponent, who also has high hopes for Inglewood's future, doesn't think Butts is the man for the job.

"We need someone who has the breadth of experience working at different levels of government … a person who can administrate, manage and problem-solve," Tabor told the Los Angeles Times recently.

"We don't need a military dictatorship coming from someone who has solely a police perspective."

It will be up to Inglewood's voters to decide Tuesday. Turnout in that city in the past has been as low as nine percent, according to the Times.

Former Mayor Roosevelt Dorn left his post up for grabs when he was forced to resign after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor conflict-of-interest charge.

After serving 15 years as Santa Monica's Chief of Police, Butts resigned in 2006 to take the post as the head of police and security operations at Los Angeles World Airports, which includes LAX.

Butts left his airport position last fall, when he entered the race for mayor.

 

“The city needs to have quality sustainable development.” James T. Butts Jr.

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