Bell, CA. is a sleepy California town of 38,000. About 10 miles southeast of Los Angeles. One of the poorest municipalities in the state. But, a “charter city!” A community of hard-working people….barely getting by! Wait a minute! Isn’t that the town where the city manager, Robert Rizzo, earns $787,637 per year! And his assistant (Angela Spaccia) earns $376,288. And the police chief, Randy Adams, makes a cool $457,000. Rizzo earns more than the President of the US. And, Chief Adams earns 50% more than the police chief of LA, which has a population of almost 4 million…..1oo times larger than Bell! To make matters worse, the Bell city council members earn $100,000 per year for part-time work.
So, I have two questions: How does this happen? And, who is going to jail! First, the “how” is that the citizens of Bell were convinced to vote for a provision on the ballot allowing Bell to become a “charter city.” Under CA state law, a “charter city” is allowed certain flexibilities of “home rule” over local affairs…such as what to pay city officials! “Home rule” sounds good, doesn’t it! Well, not so fast, Juan! The fine print also authorizes paying certain members of the city council almost $100,000 per year for their part-time jobs. The council could, in turn, set the salaries of the City Manager, Asst. City Manager, and the Police Chief! So, that explains the “how!”
BTW, Rizzo ($787,637) was arrested in March for suspicion of drunk driving when his blood alcohol level was .28%….threes time the legal limit! Furthermore, Rizzo doesn’t live in the town he manages…he lives in Huntington Beach, a chic ocean side town on the Pacific. Oops, I almost forgot…..he also owns a $1,000,000 horse ranch in Auburn, WA! Not bad for an administrator for a town of 38,000 folks! And, he will become the highest paid retiree in the in the California Public Pension System at ~$650,000 per year! At age 65, his total retirement pay will exceed $1,000,000 per year.
So, who is going to jail? Probably, no one! While this situation is enough to make your blood boil, it is not clear to me that anyone broke any actual laws. They may have been morally corrupt….but, the citizens voted for the “charter city” designation and did not pay enough attention to what their elected officials were doing.
Which brings me to the real message of this story. Bell’s citizens are outraged now that they know what has been going on. They rallied at the town hall wearing shirts that said, “My city is more corrupt than your city!” The three people at the center of this maelstrom have resigned…and the folks want the money back! They have finally awakened! It is not too late for Bell!
In November, in less than 100 days, you will have an opportunity to let Washington know what you think of what they have been doing. Has Congress been morally corrupt in the handling of healthcare, FinReg, etc., legislation? Have we been mislead by our elected officials? Those questions are rhetorical!
Wake up, America! Let’s spit out the Kool-aid and take the country back! It is almost too late to stop the progressive agenda…some will never be reversed. Your vote is important! Don’t be misled! Know the issues and make your voice heard!
2010….Without Doubt, Vote Them Out!