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No Action Taken on Extremely High Wages in City of Bell, Residents are Pissed

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Despite calls for a resignation or firing of the city's top public official, the Bell City Council last night did succeed at either, setting off even more anger and disdain at the elected officials.

Since the LA Times broke the news that Bell's city manager gets paid nearly $800,000 a year -- possibly making him the highest paid city official in the country -- and that the City Council gets around $100,000 a year -- they should get about $400 a month -- the small city of 36,000 has awoken. Additionally, the chief of police earns $457,000 a year, nearly double that of LAPD's chief.

Councilman Lorenzo Velez, who was appointed to the Bell City Council last year, says he didn't know his fellow councilmembers were paid such high wages because he is paid about $8,000 a year.

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"You're either with us or against us — and if you've been earning a $100,000 a year, you're against us," said Cristina Garcia of the community group Bell Assn. to Stop the Abuse, according to the Times.

The council's action last night was to request a salary report to verify the Times' findings. It will be discussed at the next meeting on July 26th. The Los Angeles District Attorney's office has begun an investigation into the high council salaries.

Traditionally, council and staff salaries are set and voted on by the City Council.