Bell mayor no-show at city meeting to discuss cuts

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File photo: (L-R) City of Bell council members Lorenzo Velez, vice mayor Teresa Jacobo, mayor Oscar Hernandez, Councilman George Mirabel and Councilman Luis Artiga listen to residents asking them to resign during a council meeting on July 26, 2010 in Bell, California.

A Bell City Council meeting to discuss drastic cuts to avoid possible bankruptcy was cancelled last night because of a lack of quorum.

Residents packed the council chambers and spilled outside Thursday night, but Mayor Oscar Hernandez and Councilwoman Teresa Jacobo didn't show up. Both are facing corruption charges.

The council was scheduled to consider disbanding the police department and cutting salaries and benefits for city employees to close a $2 million budget gap.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the plan is based on findings by the state controller and county auditor, which indicated the deficit could reach $5 million by the end of June.

Councilmember Lorenzo Velez says Hernandez called in sick and Jacobo was at the hospital.

Residents wore stickers and waved signs in support of police.

Information from: Los Angeles Times

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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