Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bell, CA – Poor L.A. County City, 90 Percent Hispanic, 53 Percent Foreign-Born – Boasts Among Highest Paid Municipal Governments in the U.S.

Talking Points Memo is all up in arms about Erskine Bowles, who co-chair's the Obama administration's deficit commission. It turns out TPM's hammering Bowles for his alleged "ignorance," with special emphasis on how much Bowles earns as an employee of Morgan Stanley, a bailed out TARP institution:
Some may wonder how much people get compensated for such extraordinary displays of ignorance. This is easy to answer. One of Mr. Bowles paying gigs is as a director of Morgan Stanley, the Wall Street investment bank that was rescued from bankruptcy by the taxpayers two years ago. Mr. Bowles gets $335,000 a year for that job.

By comparison this is almost 25 times as much as the average Social Security benefit that Mr. Bowles has said he wants to cut. It is more than 10 times what the median household over age 65 earns. Such are the rewards of ignorance.
I find it hard to be outraged. Bowles is currently President of the University of North Carolina system and a longtime Democratic political insider dating back to the Clinton administration. I can't see that he's overcompensated, and if ignorance is a disqualifier, Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano should both be out of jobs.

Speaking of which, this bring me to the City of Bell, in Los Angeles County. It turns out this tiny municipality, which recently
took over city services for the bankrupt immigrant sanctuary city of Maywood, boasts among the highest paid municipal governments in the county. Maybe TPM should be getting fired up about that. At Los Angeles Times, "Is a city manager worth $800,000?", and "Bell city manager might be highest paid in nation: $787,637 a year":

Top city officials in the small, relatively poor city of Bell might be the highest paid in the nation, according to documents reviewed by The Times.

In addition to the $787,637 salary of Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo, Bell pays Police Chief Randy Adams $457,000 a year, about 50% more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck or Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and more than double New York City's police commissioner. Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia makes $376,288 annually, more than most city managers.

Experts in city government said they were amazed at the salaries the city pays, particularly Rizzo's. "I have not heard anything close to that number in terms of compensation or salary," said Dave Mora, West Coast regional director of the International City/County Management Assn., and a retired city manager.

By comparison, Manhattan Beach, a far wealthier city with about 7,000 fewer people, paid its most recent city manager $257,484 a year. The city manager of Long Beach, with a population close to 500,000, earns $235,000 annually. Los Angeles County Chief Executive William T Fujioka makes $338,458
Leftist love the adjective "criminal," as in the "criminal wars" in Afghanistan and Iraq, etc. So, where's the outrage? The Bell City Council may well in fact be – wait for it – criminal!! See, "$100,000 salaries for council members in small town of Bell: Is that a crime?"


Whitehall said...

The town of Vernon, CA also has some fishy compensation schemes.

I recently read where the city manager retired and drew almost $500k a year pension from CalPers.

Anonymous said...

Funny that the last comment mentions the City of Vernon. Bell's CAO Robert Rizzo is good friends with Vernon's last CAO who is the highest CALPERS retiree. We wonder where he got his ideas????????