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$100,000 salaries for council members in small town of Bell: Is that a crime?


The Los Angeles County district attorney's office is investigating why city council members in the small, working-class city of Bell are paid nearly $100,000 a year for a part-time job.

Bell is in the news because it has agreed to take over most city operations for neighboring Maywood, which announced it will lay off all its employees on July 1.

Public Integrity Division prosecutors said a review of Bell city records showed that council members each received $8,083.25 per month. Prosecutors say that under state law and based on population, part-time council members in small cities should be paid a $400 monthly stipend (council members in Maywood earn about $300 a month). Prosecutors have asked the city for an explanation.

Bell officials say the D.A. office's numbers are misleading because they include the cost of medical insurance, retirement and other benefits, but they also defend the compensation.

"The average income for a person in our area is $32,000 and $38,000 a year," Mayor Oscar Hernandez told The Times' Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives. "In a troubled city, the city council should get paid a little more."

What do you think? Share your views below.

Comments () | Archives (190)

You dont think that this is the only city large or small that over payes its council members way to much money and they always want the people below them to take the hit not that we all can't take a hit but all the heads of all dept should take the hits . If you want the people below you to take a 10% hit you should take at least a15% hit

When the City becomes less troubled will they take less than the $400.00 stipend??????

Isn't this small town primarily Mexican,Hispanic.

Like in Mexico, your own people will really really screw you.

This is discrimination by the sleezy crooked against the mostly uneducated community.


Shocking another political figure or head of a business being over paid while others fight for low pay. What is new these days. Sad that we stand by and let them get away with it. Our country is so corrupt.

Villaraigosa, Hernandez, Delgadillo.... what do these last names have in common????

I love all these posts. I have one question. What have YOU personally done to do something about this type issue? Have you contacted your local representatives (city, county, state and federal levels) Do you even know who they are? If all you do is complain on this postboard you are not helping to solve the problem. Our so called "representatives" don't hear a word of it. They want you to complain here and not to them. They also don't want an involved community who will actually hold them accountable for their actions. We ALL have a civic duty to hold these theives sccountable for their actions! We are mad as hell but what are we going to do about it? Do something other than post here!!!!

DAYLIGHT ROBBERY. I wouldn't even dare to accept that if they offer it to me. There is no honesty in accepting this kind of offer.

That is an INSULT to taxpayers, and there is NO JUSTIFICATION for the insane amount of money being WASTED.


To anyone who says it is OK.. How about just paying me that for a full time position. I am very well qualified to do the job and I can really micro-manage like some of you said.

I keep hearing "Let them eat cake" ...

"I think 8000 dollars is to much for part time work but no one is going to do that job for less than $3000 a month"
Posted by: lou | June 24, 2010 at 09:24 AM
I will do the job for that! Who says there is no one who wants that?

There are three reasons why someone would choose to serve on a city council...

1). They have a firm desire to improve their city and are willing to sacrifice some time in doing so, or
2). They are coaxed into it and are heavily funded by special interests -- usually developers --- in order to get their vote to build massive projects that are usually tax subsidized by the residents, or
3). They stand to gain monetarily in influence or access to inside information (why do you see so many realtors serving on city councils?)

My take on this? These clowns are sucking off the public trough. More like guzzling. Get rid of them, investigate and prosecute.

Health insurance is $1000 a month at the very most for a Cadillac plan. How do they account for the other $78000?

I can't get a call back from them.

I think people need to realize that people do what's best for themselves and their families. If you are sitting around waiting for government to lower taxes and make life better for you, you are in for a long wait that will never come.

It would be interesting to see what their campaign promises were when they got elected. "I'm going to fight government waste", "I plan to end special interest", "I am here to serve the people" etc...

Lets use their campaign statements as the standard to judged by!

YES THAT IS A CRIME. What is worse is many counsel members whether being paid by us or the state are BRIBED to rule against us or not in the favor of the citizens or tax payers. Our courts are a perfect example with Supreme court judges like Yaffee and Bobb who are so corrupt their court rooms don't know the word JUSTICE, just google Richard A. Fine to see what Yaffee did to a man who stood up to him and told everyone about the crimes. Look into Aviva K. Bobb to see a woman who pretends to support the poor and needy yet steals people blind, she even caused the death of a woman, google here.

We need strict punishment for all those who are trusted with public justice and decisions. Life imprisonment and even death might get us justice.

That is why so many cities are in trouble in our area. These Council members put in about 6 to 15 hours a week in City Hall. Why do they think they should be paid FULL TIME PAY?

wow... and they wonder why the country is in financial pot-hole?!

haha...these mexicans are turning los angeles as corrupt as mexico itself! this is why mexicans will always be on the bottom of the food chain...cuz the people that reps them are always greedy and corrupt!

Tax the rich? how about them!

latino cronyism makes me sick. this stuff dates back to the days of mike hernandez, alatorre, and now villaraigosa and huizar, etc. one major problem is that these cities operate under the radar. be it ridiculous salaries or a laundry list of perks and freebies, these people are at the head of major rackets.

Used to be an average job with the State, County or City was a little above a supermarket checker (maybe). Now when government places an ad in the paper, it seems the headline is: Who wants to be a millionaire...?

Ever go to the EDD or DMV? Yikes!

I think VOICEOFREASON maybe a council member or at least a direct beneficiary of the council memebers salary!

There is not a one of you, Mark, Miguel, Driveon, or Brushpile, who wouldn't take the job for $100K a year. It is real easy to sit and say, "oh they are making too much". I say the motive to make as much as you can, in order to provide your family with the best life possible IS the basis of a Free Enterprise capitalist society.

These guys face tough issues every day. They make difficult decisions all the time. The pressure on them is daunting.

Maybe $100K is a little over the top, but who wouldn't take it if offered.

It is OK to pay a guy who can dunk a Basketball $25 Million a year, but not someone running a city $100K. Come on, which job has a bigger impact on the everyday life of regular people!

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