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Bell vice mayor says highly paid city manager will resign or be fired


The vice mayor of Bell said Monday that the city’s highly paid top administrator will resign or be fired in the wake of a Times report that he and other top officials are among the highest-paid municipal executives in the nation.

Bell council
Teresa Jacobo said she expected city Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo to lose his job at Monday’s council meeting.

“Tonight we have a meeting where we will take drastic measures,” she said. “Unfortunately, we had too much trust in people we felt were doing an excellent job.”

She added: “Mr. Rizzo will have to go one way or another.” Asked if Rizzo would resign, she said, "We hope."

Earlier Monday, a Bell city councilman called for a "completely open and transparent" investigation into the salaries of top executives and his council colleagues, saying if a Times report that Bell officials are among the highest-paid administrators and elected municipal leaders in the nation is true, they should resign immediately.

Councilman Lorenzo Velez, who was appointed to the council in the working-class city in October, also said he received only $310.62 every two weeks for his work as a councilman -- far less than the $100,000 his colleagues collected annually.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is investigating the council salaries. Normally, council members in a city the size of Bell would be paid about $400 a month, the D.A.’s office reported.

The Times has reported that Bell, one of the poorest cities in L.A. County, pays its top officials some of the highest salaries in the nation, including nearly $800,000 annually for its city manager.

Rizzo earns nearly twice the salary of President Obama, Police Chief Randy Adams about 50% more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia more than the chief executive for Los Angeles County.

-- Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives

Photo: Bell council meeting tonight. Ruben Vives / L.A. Times

INVESTIGATING BELL: A Times Special Report

-Is a city manager worth $800,000?

-Bell residents are not happy about high salaries.

-High salaries fuel anger in Bell

-Bell council members under investigation for $100,000

-Video: Why do Bell officials make so much money? The Times' Jeff Gottlieb explains.

-Bell city manager might be highest paid in nation

Comments () | Archives (20)

Without question this situation should serve as an indication of what is going wrong with the way our communities are being managed.
Politicians should not be trusted with our hard earned money.

What about the Police Chief? He knew what the going rate for a Chief in a comparable city was. Taking anything more, especially 250K more, shows that he is as greedy as the council and city manager. He never considered the people or the police organization. He just wanted the money. You want real change, You want to send a message about leadership, fairness, and faith in the future, GET RID OF ALL OF THEM IMMEDIATELY.

This will be fun to watch.

So, the top managers should quit so someone who will accept $400/month to do a tough tob in a tough town will step up and do a better (or more cost-effective) job? Puhleeze...
How about determining if they did an effective job and just offer to renegotiate their salaries. Or better yet, honor their salaries and hold them to task of making Bell a better place to live.

Wow, the nerve.

Crooks. This is a depressed city.

These guys have been running a nice scam in Bell. Shouldn't we be asking them to return the money to the city?

By the way great investigative reporting by LA Times. It is stories like these that indicate the need for newspapers.

Who hired and paid this guy? Who created the contract that gave him this salary?

They (the city council) pretend they did not know about it. Yes, they did.
They are just embarrassed that it "got out" and for the media furor that has occurred.

All of the city council members (except for the newest one) should be the ones to resign tonight.

Sounds like city council is back peddling. How could they not know what the city manager makes, they have to approve the budeget.

Wasn't Rizzo's initial response something to the effect of: "With my master's in public administration at the esteemed Cal State East Bay, and my background swapping favors with my political buddies, I could easily get a similarly lucrative job in the private sector." Time to put the theory to the test.

Love it, love it, love it! Highway robberry - this is Maywood, Vernon, Bell Huntington Park, South Gate, Lynwood and Cudahy. A complete Zimbabwe, courtesy of the Democrat Party - and Los Angeles is coming strong to match them. And while I have no sympathy for Obama, I still find that it's about the time for him to get at least the money a part-time City of Bell parks adminstrator gets. As far as Rizzo claiming that he can get the same $800 K in the private sector anytime - hehehe - baby, I like your attitude and I think that at McDonald they'll sure look over your resume - readin', wrintin', can do additions, shoes polished, hair combed - hey, your skills will do it and soon you'll be back in your $800 K range.

Cut their salaries to $100K a year. That sounds about right for a city of that size. Then let this mayor get a job in private industry that makes $800K a year. Good luck thief!

These Southeast LA "cities" are hilarious. Wasn't there a huge corruption scandal in South Gate a few years ago?

Why is a LATimes investigation even necessary? No one on the city council or in the city manager's office knew about this? and for how long did it go on? Pathetic.

Well Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo can always run for governor or senate or mayor.

How long has this been going on?
The City Council is just as guilty as the City Manager and his high priced top staff.

On what grounds would the city manager be fired or forced to resign? If he is fired, how much will that cost the city?

The case is unusually disgusting especially when the top cop in some city I never heard of before makes more than the grossly over-paid top cop in San Francisco. The manager for the City of Industry is also grossly overpaid too. The residents got screwed, full stop.

City of Bell Residents, join our facebook site and lets stop the abuse

What people have also forgotten about is that last year a meth lab was discovered in an apartment complex own by "Mayor" Oscar Hernandez and he claimed to not have known anything about it (yeah right). Let's just say it is true he didn't know anything about it...that means the guy can't even manage or police a property he owns. What the hell makes him think he could make run a city or make decions for it if he can't even take care of his own property? Besides none of the people on that council even have any college education. Let's see what kind of jobs they get when they're fired.

Actually this is very good news. It means citizens are no longer so overworked and busy to notice what their government is up to. I have a feeling this is only the beginning of closer scrutiny of our government officials all over the U.S. Unemployment and depressed economy is a scary thing for our government leaders..it means the people who elected them and pay their salaries are going to start taking a closer look at how things are run and asking for accountability from their elected officials. The party is over, hope you guys enjoyed the goodies while they lasted!

Government in all forms: State, Local and Federal has created this myth that government employees are underpaid. Unions have helped create this myth. It's not true. While this may be an extreme example, Government employees are well paid and receive unsustainable retirement benefits as well outrages health benefits. Someone has to pay for it? That means the rest of us slaving away at lower paying jobs. For every $ governement spends someone has to pay (tax). If you think the rich will do it glady then you haven't watched the news. If you think Corporations will do it...you are sadly misinformed. They (corporations) will simply pack up and leave! Or if they stay, not grow and hire less people.

This money is not FREE. WE are all taxed in some way...and the higher the burden on a few actually hurts all of us. VOTE these theives out of office! ALL of them~!


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