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Bell decides to cancel contract to manage Maywood

September 4, 2010 | 10:17 am

City leaders in Bell agreed Friday to cancel a contract to handle the day-to-day operations of neighboring Maywood, putting the small, working-class city at risk of being forced to shut down.

Maywood, which has 30,000 residents, took the unusual step earlier this summer to disband its police force, terminate most city workers and pay Bell $50,833 a month to take over operation of the city.

Once the Bell workforce leaves Maywood, the city would have only two full-time employees and a part-time elected City Council.

"The decision that the city of Bell has taken will have a crippling affect on the city of Maywood's ability to provide services to residents," said Maywood's interim city manager, Lilian Meyers. "At this point, our option is to close the doors or bring in independent contractors very quickly to provide minimal services."

Maywood city leaders said they learned of Bell's decision when The Times sought comment about the decision. The Bell City Council voted Friday to give Maywood a 30-day termination notice.

"I know of cities up north of going on the verge of bankruptcy, but it's a whole different situation that Maywood is going through," said Ken Pulskamp, president of the League of California Cities City Managers' Department.

Read the full story here.

-- Ruben Vives