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Salaries Gone Wild: Citizens Of Bell Pack City Council Meeting, Get No Respect

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Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 6:08 AM

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Hundreds of outraged citizens of the southeast Los Angeles County city of Bell descended on the City Council meeting Monday night to decry the town's outsized municipal salaries, including nearly $800,000 for the city manager.

But the throngs,only about a fourth tenth of which could even fit inside council chambers, according to Fox 11 News, didn't get any satisfaction: The council put off discussion of their pay and that of other top officials until next week.

The council voted to have their own staff members study the issue and return with a report. (How does that work? Uh, hey Barney, how on earth did I get this ridiculously high salary? Who did this?).

The controversy was sparked last week after the Los Angeles Times reported that the city manager, Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo, earns $787,637 a year, which has to be a national record. The assistant city manqger gets $376,288 -- more than the governor of California or the mayor of Los Angeles. The police chief earns $457,000 a year, 50 percent more than L.A. police Chief Charlie Beck.

Bell is a small city, geographically, with a population of 37,000.

Even one councilman, who said he only earns about $620 a month for his city work, claims he was in the dark about the inflated salaries.

"I am appalled and outraged at the recent revelations concerning the salaries of city officials, the chief of police and above all the city manager and his assistant,'' said Councilman Lorenzo Velez.

He called for an investigation.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.

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