Friday, July 23, 2010

Bell Officials Resign, Finally

Three officials in a Los Angeles suburb whose high salaries sparked statewide outrage will step down from their jobs, the city's mayor said Friday.

That was quick. At first, the three vowed to fight the city's anger, and even went so far as to say they could not be fired, and that they had unique severance packages should they be forced to resign.

I am not sure who, outside of Southern Californians, were actually following this story. Bell is a really small community/city. But how these three were able to do what they do, is explained here:

The highly paid members of the Bell City Council were able to exempt themselves from state salary limits through a little-noticed city ballot measure during a special election that attracted fewer than 400 voters.

Council members in Bell earn nearly $100,000 – a salary that has prompted an inquiry by the Los Angeles County district attorney. A state law enacted in 2005 limits the pay of council members in "general law" cities, a reform prompted by the high salaries that leaders in the neighboring city of South Gate bestowed on themselves.

But the year the law passed, the Bell City Council held a special election with only one item on the ballot. It asked voters to approve a measure calling for Bell to convert to a "charter" city.

By doing this, it allowed the city council to circumvent the law that controls salaries for its members, and this was done on the sly and away from the knowledge of the actually people of Bell. In fact, only one city council member was unaware of the salary increases, and he appears to be the one that blew the whistle on it. I think the moral here is one needs to vote, and one needs to read the laws upon which you are voting for or against. This is what happens when there is apathy in voter turnout.

At least the scumbags are out of jobs. Hopefully, unless they are required to pay back their salaries, they invested well! Just a joke, son, just a joke!

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