[Updated] Bell's council members vow to slash pay

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Frank Stoltze/KPCC

One Bell resident expressed his outrage over exorbitant pay for city officials on his T-shirt at a recent community meeting.

BELL — City Council members in a Los Angeles suburb under scrutiny for high salaries said Monday they will drastically reduce their yearly pay from about $100,000 to about $8,000.

Updated at 8:25 p.m. | Permalink

Bell Council members agree to $9,000 yearly salary

The council voted unanimously to set every member's salary at what Councilman Lorenzo Velez is paid - about $8,000 a year. The other four council members have been making about $100,000 a year.

Mayor Oscar Hernandez and Councilman George Mirabal said they would not seek re-election when their terms are up.
Associated Press


Updated at 7:45 p.m. | Permalink

Bell Council members agree to 90 percent pay cut

Bell City Council members told a crowded community center that members will slash salaries by 90 percent, and two will not seek reelection.

Associated Press


Updated at 7:25 p.m. | Permalink

Bell residents greet council members with boos

Members of the Bell city council were greeted with boos and shouts as they arrived for a meeting in which they're expected to drastically cut their salaries.

Four of the five council members of the blue-collar Los Angeles suburb make about $100,000 per year.

When one person shouted that Councilman Lorenzo Valez, the only member not drawing a huge salary, was the only decent member of the council, the crowd broke into applause.

About 275 residents assembled ahead of the meeting, which had been moved to a community center to accommodate the crowd.

Associated Press

Updated at 5:05 p.m. | Permalink

Bell mayor to go without compensation

Bell Mayor Oscar Hernandez has announced that he will serve out the remainder of his term without accepting any compensation. He also says he will not run for re-election when his term expires in March.

KPCC Wire services


Updated at 3:20 p.m. | Permalink
Bell council members announce pay cuts
The city of Bell issued a statement disclosing the expected cuts.

All four officials make about $100,000, a finding that has prompted backlash from the community and an investigation by the California attorney general.

Bell's city manager, police chief and assistant city manager all resigned at last week's City Council meeting, days after it was revealed they were making salaries totaling $1.6 million a year.

Bell is a blue-collar city southeast of Los Angeles with about 40,000 people.

Earlier in the day, California's attorney general said he had subpoenaed hundreds of records from the city.

Attorney General Jerry Brown demanded to see employment contracts from the city within two days to determine whether to file charges.

"The real question is what were they thinking?" Brown said at a news conference. "What was the atmosphere in Bell that would allow this and make it plausible at least to the members of the City Council."

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has launched its own investigation into the salaries.

The Bell Association to Stop the Abuse had threatened to recall the council members if they didn't resign or lower their own salaries.

The salaries exploded into public view after a Los Angeles Times investigation, based on California Public Records Act requests, showed the city payroll was bloated with six-figure salaries:

  • Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo made $787,637 a year, getting a series of raises since being hired in 1993 at $72,000. President Barack Obama makes $400,000.
  • Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia made $376,288 a year.
  • Police Chief Randy Adams earned $457,000 - $150,000 more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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