[Vision2020] Bell, Calif. City Council Salaries Cut by 90 Percent

Wayne Price bear at moscow.com
Tue Jul 27 12:56:46 PDT 2010


We have what I consider a similar situation here with Moscow City  
employees. We have "movers and shakers" in non-elected key city  
positions that are not citizens of Moscow, and some aren't even  
residents of Idaho, so no matter what happens at the city, county or  
state level has NO EFFECT on them personally. To them all the city of  
Moscow is, is a paycheck, and a rather substantial one at that.

I'd love to see a city ordinance that says city employees have to  
reside in the city and give the current employees 90 to 120 days to  
move to the city or move on to a different job.

I am always amazed at the "birthers" / teabag folks that worry the  
President wasn't born in the US, but are willing to put up with  
domestic 'foreigners" running local government and haven't said squat  
about it.


On Jul 27, 2010, at 10:48 AM, lfalen wrote:

> The employees in the Troy School District agreed to a 5% pay  
> decrease. Would that other districts followed suit.If the UI would  
> do so it would save some staff jobs. Any one in the Ag College with  
> research or science in there title are subject to a reduction in  
> pay. Those that have anything referring to management in their title  
> are exempt. Cutting Steven Daily-Laursen loose would also save jobs.
> Roger
> Original message-----
> From: "Tom Hansen" thansen at moscow.com
> Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2010 07:25:18 -0700
> To: "Moscow Vision 2020" vision2020 at moscow.com
> Subject: [Vision2020] Bell, Calif. City Council Salaries Cut by 90  
> Percent
>> "City Council members in Bell unanimously agreed Monday to give up  
>> their
>> controversial $96,000-a-year salaries . . . "
>> "City Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo made $787,637 a  
>> year, . . . "
>> Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times at:
>> http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bell-salaries-20100727,0,1970663.story
>> ---------------------------------------------------
>> Bell council members cut salaries 90%; some will forgo pay
>> Council members agree to take $8,000 a year, and the mayor and vice  
>> mayor
>> say they'll finish their terms without pay. Meanwhile, attorney  
>> general
>> subpoenas documents and D.A. continues its probe.
>> City Council members in Bell unanimously agreed Monday to give up  
>> their
>> controversial $96,000-a-year salaries and instead draw $673 a month  
>> — a
>> 90% decrease.
>> Council members in the small, working-class city southeast of  
>> downtown Los
>> Angeles have been under mounting pressure since the salaries for the
>> part-time jobs were reported in The Times this month.
>> Mayor Oscar Hernandez and Vice Mayor Teresa Jacobo went a step  
>> further
>> Monday and said they will finish off their terms without pay.
>> Hernandez also apologized to residents for the high salaries the  
>> city paid
>> to administrators, a reversal from the defiant tone he struck last  
>> week.
>> "Since my first day as mayor, my priority has been to make Bell a  
>> city its
>> residents can be proud to call home," he said. "I apologize that the
>> council's past decisions with regard to the indefensible  
>> administrative
>> salaries have failed to meet that test." Hernandez said he will not  
>> seek
>> another stint as mayor.
>> A Times report revealed that the city's top officials received some  
>> of the
>> highest municipal wages in the nation. City Administrative Officer  
>> Robert
>> Rizzo made $787,637 a year, almost twice the salary of President  
>> Obama;
>> Police Chief Randy Adams made $457,000, 50% more than Los Angeles  
>> Police
>> Chief Charlie Beck; and Assistant City Manager Spaccia made  
>> $376,288, more
>> than the top administrator for Los Angeles County.
>> All three resigned last week.
>> In agreeing to sweep back their salaries, Councilmen Luis Artiga and
>> George Mirabal put themselves on par with Lorenzo Velez, who has  
>> been paid
>> $673 a month since he was appointed to the council last summer.  
>> Velez said
>> he was unaware his colleagues were making so much.
>> Ali Saleh, a member of the Bell Assn. to Stop The Abuse said Monday  
>> that
>> the group welcomes the salary cut. But he added, "It's not enough.  
>> The
>> people don't trust them anymore. They lost complete trust from the
>> community, and for the better of the community, they should resign."
>> The group also demands "a full disclosure of administrative  
>> salaries, and
>> any retainers or project contracts provided by outside consultants,
>> followed by a forensic audit by a neutral third party."
>> Saleh threatened council members with a recall effort if they did not
>> order a forensic audit of the city's books and disclose  
>> administrative
>> salaries as well as contracts awarded to outside consultants.
>> Council members drove up their salaries by earning stipends for  
>> serving on
>> various boards or commissions, all of which generally met — often  
>> very
>> briefly — during council meetings. In their agreement Monday, council
>> members said the $673-a-month salary will reflect their total pay.
>> Earlier Monday, state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown had subpoenaed  
>> hundreds of
>> documents from Bell as part of his office's investigation into the  
>> high
>> salaries.
>> "How did they come to the conclusion that public officials should  
>> make
>> that much money?" Brown said at a news conference at his Los Angeles
>> office.
>> Among the documents Brown has demanded are e-mails, employment  
>> contracts,
>> ordinances and resolutions, some going back to January 2003. Some  
>> must be
>> turned in by Wednesday, and others by Aug. 6.
>> "Hundreds of thousands of public dollars were paid out under  
>> suspicious
>> circumstances," said Brown, the Democratic nominee for governor.
>> The Los Angeles County district attorney began an inquiry into the
>> council's salaries several weeks ago. Former Councilman Victor  
>> Bello, who
>> resigned in August for undisclosed reasons, said district attorney
>> investigators took documents from his home Monday.
>> Almost immediately after he left the council, Bello became the only
>> full-time employee at the city food bank, the first person to hold  
>> the
>> job, Rizzo said.
>> Documents show that Bello was being paid $96,000 a year there,  
>> roughly the
>> same salary paid to most council members. He has continued to be  
>> paid for
>> sitting on four city boards, even though city resolutions say
>> commissioners must be council members.
>> Bello last week showed The Times the three white boxes he said the
>> district attorney took from him. He said they included council  
>> agendas, a
>> list that showed payments the city had made to vendors and  
>> contractors,
>> fliers of community events and other documents.
>> Dave Demerjian, head of the district attorney's Public Integrity  
>> Unit,
>> said he could not comment.
>> The mayor's apology was a turnaround from his comments last week  
>> when he
>> praised Rizzo, even after the council announced that the city  
>> manager,
>> Adams and Spaccia were resigning. Hernandez said Rizzo's salary was
>> appropriate considering the excellent job he did.
>> He also sharply criticized The Times' reporting of the issue.
>> Over the weekend, Velez called on fellow council members to reduce  
>> their
>> salaries to the $8,000 a year he is receiving. Jacobo, the vice  
>> mayor, has
>> said Velez was being paid substantially less because he had been  
>> appointed
>> to finish Bello's unexpired term and had not been elected to office.
>> Velez said if council members refused to cut their salaries, they  
>> should
>> resign immediately. He also called for an independent accounting of
>> business dealings council members have had with the city and argued  
>> that
>> they should reveal how much they will earn from their city pensions.
>> --------------
>> Vice Mayor Teresa Jacobo, second from left, and Mayor Oscar  
>> Hernandez,
>> third from left, will finish their terms without pay. The salaries of
>> Councilmen George Mirabal and Luis Artiga, far right, will be cut to
>> $8,000 a year.
>> http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2010-07/55189767.jpg
>> ---------------------------------------------------
>> Seeya round town, Moscow.
>> Tom "Just another retired working stiff" Hansen
>> Moscow, Idaho
>> "The Pessimist complains about the wind, the Optimist expects it to  
>> change
>> and the Realist adjusts his sails."
>> - Unknown
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> =======================================================
> List services made available by First Step Internet,
> serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.
>               http://www.fsr.net
>          mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com
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