Development of what is called The Boulevards at South Bay Project in Carson is underway atop a 157-acre former landfill adjacent to the 405 Freeway near Del Amo Boulevard and Main Street.
The commercial and residential development project is drawing plenty of controversy over whether the main roadway through the property should be named Jim Dear Boulevard in honor of the city's current mayor.
On Tuesday a vote on the issue failed in the city council. Two city council members voted for it and two against. Some residents argue such an honor should be bestowed upon a beloved city official after they have died.
"I don't think it should be named after him," said former Carson Mayor Vera DeWitt. "After someone is deceased the story is not written anymore. It's there. You know what the person has accomplished, you know whether there's been good, bad or ugly. When somebody is alive, and at that age, you could still do a lot of things."
"Of course he should not be trying to get his name on a street," said Dr. Rita Boggs, a former city planning commissioner.
Carson resident Miriam Vasquez says she has seen dishonest politicians come and go in the city. Vasquez says in the near-decade Mayor Dear has been in office he has proven himself worthy of being honored with a street named after him.
"Jim Dear has been an honest mayor of the city of Carson," said Vasquez. "He deserves respect and deserves to have something now that he's still alive. He deserves it. He worked for it."
Eyewitness News talked to Dear, who says he also works as substitute middle and high school teacher. He says he does not know what all the fuss is about because he says residents pitched the idea of naming a street after him.
"If that what the people want I would certainly consider that," said Dear. "No one has asked me yet, that is why it is really amazing that this controversy has blown up to the degree that it has."
Some residents argue there are so many other issues facing the city than whether to name a street after the mayor.
Next month city council officials, who were not available to speak on camera Thursday, are expected to take another vote on whether to give the OK to naming a street in honor of the mayor.