Salaries Gone Wild: Bell City Council Bows Down, Agrees To 90 Percent Pay Reduction
The Bell City Council, including the mayor, agreed to reduce its $100,000-per-member annual pay for part-time work by 90 percent following calls by activists to do so or leave office.
Bell Mayor Oscar Hernandez.
The move Monday night came after state Attorney General Jerry Brown announced he was investigating the unusually high salaries as well as the record pay the council gave to the Bell city manager, who took home nearly $800,000 a year, the assistant city manager ($457,000), and the chief of police ($376,288).
Luis Artiga, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal will now get what odd-man-out City Council member Lorenzo Velez has been receiving all along: $673 a month. Mayor Oscar Hernandez announced earlier Monday that he would forgo a salary for the remainder of his term -- and that he would not seek a second term.
Bell residents waited in line to get into council chambers, although most didn't make it inside the packed room guarded by police. Many continued to call on the entire council to resign.
Hernandez said there should be "a full, transparent and deliberate review of the city's actions. To that end I will dedicate the remainder of my term to spearheading our city's cooperation with the Los Angeles County district attorney and the California attorney general's inquiries.''