Off-Ramp

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Santa Fe Springs City Council fires 32, boosts own salary

The city of Santa Fe Springs in 1961
The city of Santa Fe Springs in 1961 Herald-Examiner Collection/LA Public Library

Cities everywhere are hurting, sure, but Santa Fe Springs politicians would do well to take this as an object lesson in public perception: the gateway city's council decided to take some of the money they saved by laying off 32 employees and reinvest it... in themselves. The Whittier Daily News reports the council raised their own monthly salaries from $924.61 per month to $1224.61--a $200 raise for each of the city's five council members (maybe it's four, now: one recently stepped down after admitting he took over $11,000 in bribes from local Marijuana dispensaries).

The city worker layoffs kicked in last Friday. In its defense, Santa Fe Springs' mayor defended the raise by pointing out the last time they raised their pay it was way back in 2008. They cut in half their $500 monthly allowance to $250 and the Council has had the authority to raise their own pay for years. They'd forgone raises because they thought it would look bad. Indeed.

I know getting outraged over politicians and their salaries is nothing new--and while Santa Fe Springs is probably technically right...appearances matter. For the extra money the council spent on itself ($1000 a month), you could at least give someone some part time work? No?

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