DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY STATES GO BROKE? – AT 9:04 A.M. ET: Reader James Croak alerts us to this little gem, which explains what has been going on in some locales when voters weren't paying attention:
Hundreds of residents of one of the poorest municipalities in Los Angeles County shouted in protest last night as tensions rose over a report that the city’s manager earns an annual salary of almost $800,000.
An overflow crowd packed a City Council meeting in Bell, a mostly Hispanic city of 38,000 about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles, to call for the resignation of Mayor Oscar Hernandez and other city officials. Residents left standing outside the chamber banged on the doors and shouted “fuera,” or “get out” in Spanish.
It was the first council meeting since the Los Angeles Times reported July 15 that Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo earns $787,637 -- with annual 12 percent raises -- and that Bell pays its police chief $457,000, more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck makes in a city of 3.8 million people. Bell council members earn almost $100,000 for part-time work.
I ask a simple question: Where has the local press been? Did it ignore the story because the community is Hispanic? I'm not making that charge, but I think it needs to be explored.
City Attorney Edward Lee said the council members couldn’t discuss salaries in public without advance notice. The council then adjourned for a private session. About an hour later, the council members returned, and Hernandez read a statement saying the city would prepare a report on the salaries and seek public comment at the next council meeting, scheduled for Aug. 16.
Residents shouted in protest. Lee said he would have the room cleared if people continued to speak out of line. Police Chief Randy Adams said the fire department wanted to end the meeting because the crowd outside was blocking the door.
Apparently Randy Adams is the guy who "earns" $457,000. At that price he should be blocking the door himself, and giving out free dinners.
How do outrages like this occur? They occur because people don't know about them, or can't take the time to care. They apparently occur all over California, a once golden state that now has a severely tarnished image. In one community the pension for a retired fire chief is a quarter of a million a year.
California used to be known for its educational system, its aircraft industry, and Hollywood. Today its educational system is a shambles, its universities are crypts for old leftists. Its aircraft industry is a shadow, frowned upon by the self-appointed intellectual classes. And Hollywood? Does anyone remember Hollywood?
July 22, 2010