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Bell could start running out of cash in May as deficit grows

As Bell City Council members repeatedly fail to show up for meetings, the city has been unable to vote on key cost-saving measures that would help reduce a growing deficit and avoid potential bankruptcy.

The city, which has cash reserves of only $300,000, could have difficulty paying its bills as early as May, city officials said.

With the council in a state of political paralysis -- two members facing criminal charges have repeatedly called in sick and once walked out of a meeting -- the city's interim administrator, Pedro Carrillo, said he may be forced to make deep budget cuts to preserve cash.

Carrillo has the authority to make cuts if the council is unable to meet. He needs to reduce expenses enough to keep the city operating until March elections, when a new council will be chosen.

"I can't scream any louder," Carrillo said. "You all have to make some tough choices and get moving. The city attorney and I have an emergency plan to deal with our shortcomings if the council does not take action."

The city faces a potential deficit of $3.5 million to $4.5 million -- almost double what county auditors recently determined -- and has already defaulted on a $35-million bond.

Read the full story here.

RELATED:

State controller posts more government salaries online

Bell City Council meeting canceled after two lawmakers fail to appear

Bell police angry at a possible elimination of department; residents say proposal is premature

-- Jeff Gottlieb

Photo: Bell interim City Manager Pedro Carrillo on Sept. 21, 2010. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (9)

Just push the city into bankruptcy and disband the city entirely and rely on LA for services. Jeeze what a joke and an easy way to destroy a city completely. That's typical for our corrupted government from top to bottom in almost every city there is someone stealing funds, voting themselves obscene pay raises and benefits, stealing from city coffers, having sex with disabled, etc, etc. This country is headed for a revolution similar to Egypt.

Can a city be repossesed? EMI was earlier this week, why not the city of Bell?

The only thing left for the City of Bell to do is what the city of Lakewood did years ago - outsource! The City of Bell needs to get the largest portion of the budget THE POLICE DEPARTMENT outsourced! Let's face it - you'll hit two birds withone stone - save the city and get rid of corrution once and for all!

Is there no legal mechanism for getting rid of these criminals right now?

The State needs to take over Bell and give it to the County to run. What is everyone waiting for?

mipak,

"LA" does not provide services to other cities. LA County would become responsible for Bell. Peolpe need to learn how the system works before they comment... just saying.

Alone Bell stands and alone we will win our city back. No County, No LA leave the City of Bell alone and let us fight for ours City of Bell.

L.A. and the County need to focus on their deficits and fix their problems and allow City of Bell to do the same.

Disolved city of bell officials and the city itselfs.

I agree with comment that Peanut made about the Bell Police Department!! They take up 67% of Bell's annual Budget thats almost 12 million dollars a year!! why hasn't any body questioned what there salaries are??? They are the one's responsiable for all of this defict that is occuring in the city of Bell. People wake up and see who's really the bigest thieves here!!!


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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.
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