By 2 Urban Girls
COMPTON — The Compton City Council took steps to ensure continuity in government operations by appointing a new council member to represent District 4, along with appointing an interim city manager through Sept. 14.
The council voted 4-0 to appoint longtime resident Lillie Darden, 81, to represent the 4th District on July 27. Darden will fulfill the remainder of the term after the seat was vacated when Emma Sharif was elected mayor.
Darden is no stranger to City Hall, having been a former city employee and a member of the Planning Commission.
“I want to thank the mayor and City Council for having the trust and faith in me in appointing me to serve as the councilperson for the 4th District and I look forward to working with my colleagues in serving the city of Compton,” Darden said.
Darden’s colleagues also welcomed her.
“I want to welcome Councilwoman Darden to the table with us, and I am very excited for her to be appointed to the 4th District and I believe she is going to do a tremendous job,” said Councilman Isaac Galvan.
“It is going to be an honor to serve with you, and I have known you a long time, and your experience is going to add to this legislative body but the respect of the community that you already have are very excited to have you,” Councilwoman Michelle Chambers added.
Darden also received strong community support as many of the residents were highly supportive of her being appointed to the council.
“She’s educated with a degree in public administration, she was a member of the Concerned Citizens of Compton, wise and is not about nonsense,” Cynthia Macon said.
“She is highly qualified to be the 4th District Councilperson and with her experience she is an asset to this council,” Angela Lewis added.
“Great choice,” said Frank Sotelo. “She is intelligent and rational.”
Darden was selected from a field of 11 candidates.
The council also appointed Fire Chief Ronerick Simpson as interim city manager.
“My top priority during my appointment is to ensure the city is running effectively and efficiently,” Simpson said. “I have no intention of applying for this position on a permanent basis.”
Simpson stated he would appoint Battalion Chief Anthony Adams to serve in his absence.
Simpson was appointed on a 3-1 vote July 29 during a special council meeting, which was continued from the regular council meeting of July 27.
Mayor Sharif was the lone dissenting vote and explained to the community why she voted against Simpson, which she read from a prepared statement.
“Although the fire chief has a friendly demeanor, what the city of Compton needs at this moment is someone who has been exposed, trained, and are familiar with the day to day operations of the city manager’s office,” Sharif said. “I don’t doubt that our fire chief does an excellent job at running the fire department, but this level of expertise is entirely different than what the city needs now.”
Sharif said the city needs a city manager with a “deep understanding” of municipal finance, infrastructure planning and economic development.
The council goes dark for the month of August and will resume regular City Council meetings Sept. 7.
2 Urban Girls is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers who covers the Compton and Inglewood areas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.