Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Bell's finances so bad city could have trouble providing basic services, audit concludes

Bell Bell’s precarious financial position could deepen to the point that the city could have difficulty providing even basic services for its residents, an audit released Thursday concluded.

A county review of the city’s strained finances said that if the city continues spending at its current rate, it will end up $2.2 million in the red at the end of the current fiscal year. The audit recommended cutting city services, laying off employees and possibly disbanding its police force.

The audit, which examined city expenses and revenues over the last three years, was requested by the city and sponsored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, whose office picked up the $100,000 cost of the financial analysis.

“The city of Bell does not have enough money,” was the bleak conclusion of the review by the county auditor-controller.

Pedro Carrillo, Bell’s interim chief administrative officer, said Thursday that he plans to present the City Council with a report that will explore ways to balance the budget.

“All options are on the table,” he responded when asked if bankruptcy was a possibility. “We obviously have some very tough decisions and considerations to make.”

The Times reported last month that the county audit would show the city was in serious financial straits and might be forced to make deep cuts to survive. The city has been buffeted by scandal since The Times revealed the enormous salaries of top officials in Bell, one of L.A. County’s poorest cities.

At best, Bell is facing big cuts in city services. It suggested cutting city salaries, benefits, supplies and services, offering only “core services” and contracting for some services. The report also says the city should find ways to increase revenue, such as doing a better job of attracting businesses.

--Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives

Photo of Bell town hall meeting Thursday night by Ruben Vives

Comments () | Archives (6)

"The report also says the city should find ways to increase revenue, such as doing a better job of attracting businesses."

I quite confident that any company relocating within California will not consider this city.

Way to go Fatso Rizzo. Your legacy of shame...

The Bell Police Department is a scam.

The report confirmed that:

1. In 2008, the Bell PD raked in over $800,000 in towing fees.
2. In 2009, they brought in $1 million (Yes, $1 million)
3. In 2010, they brought in over $600,000, and they probably slowed down after the salary scandal hit the papers in mid-July.

So who made that sign? The cops, or their hired hands.

The Bell Police Department isn't in the law enforcement business. They're in the towing business.

The Bell PD was little more than a subcontractor for Bell Tow Co.

In the last 3 years, the Bell PD raked in of $69,000 in towing fees a month.

According to county estimates, they should have been bringing in about $14,000.

So, they towed 5 times as many cars - in a 2 square mile city!

Man, the reason these guys worked overtime was not because they were crime fighting. It was because they were profiling and towing!

And the average pay for cops is $130K. Wow! Who would have thought towing cars paid so well.

If towing all these cars was not a civil rights violation, it's highway robbery!

It's time to tow the cops, their consultants and their cronies!

Time for a BK filing in Bell. We can't afford to dump our police department. It will be the death knell to our once great little working class town. Pedro Carillo needs to go. He is just as dirty as Robert "The Penguin" Rizzo. Why isn't Randy Adams in jail?

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the GREAT State of California in a deficit, somewhere about 19 Billion dollars. How about the City of L.A. with a 300 million dollar deficit. Should I even mention the County of L.A.'s deficit? Well, you get the picture.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: