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High city salaries fuel anger in Bell


At Veterans Memorial Park in Bell, Leticia Arellano, 37, could not find the words to express her anger over the salaries of the City Council and top city administrators.

Watching her son running in the park, she said she had brought her son to play in the water area of the park, but for an unknown reason the city had cut the hours to the play area earlier.

“Before it was 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., now it is 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.,” she said.

Nearby, children ran, pouring water from bottles onto themselves, others using water soakers. Arellano complained that city services are not good --and the schools are overcrowded.

The Times reported Thursday that Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo earns nearly twice the salary of President Obama, Police Chief Randy Adams gets paid about 50% more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia receives more than the chief executive for Los Angeles County.

Rizzo makes $787,637, Adams makes $457,000 and Spaccia makes $376,288.

Bell is being investigated by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office over the compensation of its City Council members, who receive about $100,000 a year for their part-time positions. In a city the size of Bell, a council member is typically paid about $400 a month, according to state records.

Bell resident Douglas Waugh said he was infuriated when he learned that city officials in his small city had some of the highest salaries in the nation.   

“They think we’re stupid,” Waugh said standing outside of his home.  “They get into power and talk to us like little kids and they think we’re ignorant, but we’re not.” 

Watch more comments from residents in the video above.

-- Ruben Vives in Bell

Comments () | Archives (12)

These salaries are completely out of proportion with counterparts in other cities - I hope the entire city of Bell goes down for this

what is the state going to do about this? this type of stupidity and greed is what has california near bankruptcy ..we need the federal government to step in .. these small cities in la county are corrupt and everybody know it , so why isnt anything done?

The citizenry of Bell should be outraged of office holders and bureaucrats who conspire to reap the spoils of the public. This is kleptocracy. A democracy utilized for the sole purpose of legally stealing from the public via public office or appointment. Whether it be bank bail outs, stimulus plans or a manipulation of law to socialize losses for the very wealthy, this legal stealing is not uncommon but sadly widespread. It is not surprising that in the poorest communities we find politicians and bureaucrats who purposefully violate financial responsibility and ethics. The government of Bell takes, plunders and grabs whatever public resource are available for private gain and throws the public scraps and dust. This reminds me very much of the antics of people like Albert Robles and his cronies who abused their office in South Gate. Some say Mexican Politics, I say this is the sad state of American Politics.

The residents of Bell need to camp out at city hall and demand an immediate recall of these insulting and outrageous salaries. They should also place salary control on the ballot so it does not happen again.

What a joke. When will the moronic citizens of this country realize that the government is not on their side? From the lowest positions in local government to the President of the United States, the entire government structure is corrupt and broken, but morons continue to believe that "change" will come from a system designed to place the entire burden on the poor while the rich elite watch and laugh as the rest of us struggle to survive. But hey, go vote because things will change by voting in for new lawyers and other worthless middle men to run things!

The ONLY way this unbelievable amount of corruption will cease — yes, it is corruption — is if the LA Times continues to run this story and every variation of it as new bits and pieces come to light. Although the Press gets to report on all kinds of topics, if there is one important topic to put at the top of its "story" list, it is the reporting of obvious elected official corruption.

The next City Council meeting is August 16th at 7PM. The people of Bell need to be there to get their money.

That is ridiculous, the city is so small if you blink you will miss it.

There has got to be more corruption than this. People like this are never just a little greedy.

I agree that the the LA Times should continue to run this story and every variation of it as new bits and pieces come to light and allow everyone to know about the corruption going on in this poor city. All the residents of Bell should go TOMORROW, MONDAY JULY 19, 2010 AT 7:00 P.M. AT THE CITY OF BELL CITY HALL TO PROTEST AND MAKE THEMSELVES BE HEARD THAT THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!

Every concerned resident should plan on attending the rally at the city council today, Monday July 19th at 5:30pm. The media is also invited to attend.

Be careful Bell officials. Hopefully, all you get is jail time and have to pay the money back. When people find out where you live, you'd better pray people don't retaliate. How dare you say 800,000 is a salary you deserve. This is like Enron any any other company where officials and beaurocrats take advantage.
Pray that all you get is jail time or have to pay the money back.


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