Residents warn of recall if council members remain

Residents warn of recall if council members remain

BELL, Calif. (AP) - City Council members who make nearly $100,000 a year for governing this small, poverty-plagued suburb of Los Angeles must resign immediately or face a recall campaign, a community group warned Friday.

The threat came hours after it was announced that the city manager, assistant city manager and police chief were stepping down following a public outcry over their salaries, which total more than $1.6 million a year.

In the wake of that scandal, residents have lost trust in Mayor Oscar Hernandez and three other council members, said Ali Saleh, co-founder of the Bell Association to Stop the Abuse.

“We are happy that all three resigned but the fight doesn’t end here,” Saleh said.

The group, whose acronym is Spanish for “enough,” said if the council members don’t step down by Monday’s council meeting, it will begin working for their recall.

The group supports Councilman Lorenzo Velez, who makes far less than his colleagues and has called for the other members to resign or freeze their salaries.

The group is talking with Velez to determine if he wants to remain on the council.

“We support his staying if he’s willing to help us fight the corruption,” Saleh said.

Council members emerged from an hours-long closed session at midnight and announced they had accepted the resignations of Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo, Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia and Police Chief Randy Adams.

Rizzo was the highest paid at $787,637 a year - nearly twice the pay of President Barack Obama - for overseeing one of the poorest towns in Los Angeles County. Census figures for 2008 showed about 17 percent of the city’s less than 40,000 residents live in poverty.

Spaccia makes $376,288 a year and Adams earns $457,000, 50 percent more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.

The three officials will not receive severance packages, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. Rizzo will step down at the end of August, and Spaccia will leave at the end of September. Adams will also leave at the end of August, after completing an evaluation of the Police Department, the Times said.

Rizzo would be entitled to a state pension of more than $650,000 a year for life, according to calculations made by the Times. That would make Rizzo, 56, the highest-paid retiree in the state pension system.

Adams could get more than $411,000 a year.

Spaccia, 51, could be eligible for as much as $250,000 a year when she reaches 55, though the figure is less precise than for the other two officials, the Times said.

City Council members who earn about $100,000 a year receive most of that as compensation for serving on city agencies such as the Planning Commission and the Solid Waste and Recycling Authority.

California law limits the salaries of City Council members in most cities of Bell’s size to about $400 a month, unless voters approve a higher wage. It also sets a $150 pay limit for each commission, committee or board on which a council member serves.

That law was signed in September 2005. Two months later, Bell held an election - in which fewer than 400 people voted - that declared it a charter city and allowed it to bypass the state law applying to “general law” cities.

The city charter says council pay can’t exceed that allowed to similar cities by the state law. But it permits council members to create and serve on any commissions or boards they want - at any compensation they set.

The county district attorney’s office is investigating to determine if the high salaries for the council members violate any state laws. The City Council also intends to review city salaries, including those of its own members, according to Councilman Luis Artiga and Mayor Oscar Hernandez.

“We are going to analyze all the city payrolls and possibly will revise all the salaries of the city,” Artiga said.

However, both men have said they considered the City Council pay to be justified.

Though many residents are poor , Hernandez said Thursday that they live in a city they can be proud of, one with a $22.7 million budget surplus, clean streets, refurbished parks and numerous programs for people of all ages. He pointed proudly down a street to a park filled with new exercise equipment.

When Rizzo arrived 17 years ago, Hernandez said, the city was $13 million in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy. Rizzo obtained government grants to aid the city, the mayor said.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown said his office has launched an investigation in conjunction with the state’s public employee retirement agency into pension and related benefits for Bell’s civic leaders.

Full Story Here:
Residents warn of recall if council members remain

All I have to say about this is, OUR City Council members here in Rowlett, Texas are paid, if I am not mistaken, $1,200.00 a year. The Mayor, again, if I am NOT mistaken, makes the grand sum of $1,500.00 a year.

Our local leaders are doing their jobs as a labor of love. The leaders of Bell, California are raping their citizens, and the citizens of Bell need to fight back, and I mean fight back hard.

And people wonder WHY California is broke… :?

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17 Responses to Residents warn of recall if council members remain

  1. Kate says:

    If I’m not mistaken, our little town council doesn’t even get a salary. :?

  2. HoosierArmyMom says:

    This is sad but NOT Shocking. I noticed that the mayor was said to have acquired “Federal Funds” to pull the city out of the red and bump up those paychecks. That is stealing from American taxpayers! But they see Congress doing it, and think “We want our share of ill gotten booty”…. argh matey!!!!

    This country is obviously being run by crooks, pirates and moonbats, to get away with this for so long, especially California. We’ve seen the man made drought that is killing people who have been farmers for generations, all over a 2″ smelt, Pelosi’s tax and spend stimulus funding going to pay for worthless projects all over Cali, like studying the breeding habits of turtles… so this really isn’t surprising! I say good for the citizens of Bell… they are following the process our founders outlined!

  3. Robert says:

    This is in a small city…LA is run by the same type people…Sacramento is run by the same type people. These guys just got caught.

    The chant of the new world order here in Obamaland is “The rich are the enemy”
    They are going to get bit in the ass by that soon. This is the tip of the ice berg. John Kerry avoiding taxes, corrupt politicians, the ruling class giving the crumbs to the lackies to keep them voting demorat.

    I also notice a lot of hispanic last names in the story. Seems to me like they brought the same type of mexican rule to Bell..

  4. TexasFred says:

    Bell is, according to the story, about 40K people?? We are about 60K and our guys work for love of the game…

    California SUCKS… :evil:

  5. Bloviating Zeppelin says:

    This is not just “shocking,” it should be criminal — and a conspiracy as well, as these people conspired to change the type of incorporation to that of a “charter city” SOLELY in order to egregiously EXPAND the paychecks they issue THEMSELVES.

    These people need to be prosecuted at, minimum, a STATE level and they need to do TIME.


  6. HoosierArmyMom says:

    Oh, I agree BZ… but we also have criminals in Washington, and we can’t ever prosecute Black Panthers for obstructing the rights of voters!

    Fred’s right too… Californication sucks… so let’s sell it back to Spain!!!!

  7. Vigilante says:

    Great Horny Toads!!!!!

    787,637 bucks a year w/a lifetime pension of 450,000 a year??
    Good Lord, how are they ever going to make do if he’s cut back $337,000 ??? Maybe his wife can take in some white shirts to launder and iron for extra cash.

    Poor bastards.

    How on earth did the people ever let these rat bastards keep getting elected?? A lot of the blame rests squarely on the people for keeping them in office. These assholes are of the same caliber scumbags that are running our country right now and I’m talking “ALL OF THEM!!!!!!!! From city councils clear to 1600 Pennsylvania avenue. The people have let CRIME INC. take over our country and WE need to take it back and I don’t give a damn how we do it. I’m ready.

  8. Vigilante says:

    I wonder if Rizzo is any relation to Obama’s good friend Tony?? Sounds about right…

  9. TexasFred says:

    Vigilante — Obama’s buddy was Tony Rezko…

  10. TexasFred says:

    This is basically the same story, just a bit different take and a bit of a re-write from the same author…

    Calif. town outraged to learn of officials’ pay

  11. Vigilante says:

    Rizzo,,,,,,,,,,Rezko, Hell Fred, maybe it’s his in brother in law.
    One thing I think we can both agree on though is,
    They’er both crooks and prime examples of the shitbags that have got a hold on this country.

  12. TexasFred says:

    Vigilante — Absolutely, they are prime examples… So, here’s a good question; what does it take to the majority of Americans motivated to actually take action against these crooks?

    California is out of my area of operations, and quite frankly, they can go to hell if they’re not willing to fight these guys, but what can we do on a national scale? Are we only going to be affective on a state and local level for the most part? And on a national scale come BIG election time?

    Remember, an asshat like Obama carried America by a huge majority, partly because he is considered Black, partly because the GOP ran the most useless ticket imaginable…

    Where do WE start?

  13. Katie says:

    I wonder how many of the 40000 are here legally? Could explain why only 400 voted.

    Is it any wonder why California is known by the initials: FUBAR!

  14. Texasperated says:

    Just guessing about why only 400 turnout, Fred, but let’s review the turnout in Rowlett for the last city council runoff. Did we break 1500 (out of over 60K citizens)?

  15. TexasFred says:

    Texasperated — I don’t have all the figures for Bell, but of Rowlett’s 60K residents, approximately 30K are registered to vote, by far, many obviously didn’t vote, thank God we have a Mayor and Council that are HONEST folks of integrity…

    And thank God that OUR Mayor and Council have the GUTS to hold anyone in check that may be otherwise… Just sayin’…

    It would be interesting to know how many of Bell’s residents are not only registered, but LEGAL…

  16. Jeff says:

    In-freaking-credible, They should all be thown out on their arses

  17. Always On Watch says:

    Local-government officials in Fairfax County, Virginia — the area in which I live here in Northern Virginiastan — rake in big salaries. I don’t recall the figures.

    They have fancy offices too. In fact, we call the Fairfax County Government Center “The Taj Mahal.”

    As a livelong resident of the county here, I recall a time when these officials served for a nominal salary. And guess what? Our local government back then wasn’t in debt AND served the people.

    Now, they REGULATE us to death — with all the rules as to how we can use our properties. :(