California — Under pressure from outraged residents and facing a probe by the California attorney general, the beleaguered Bell City Council voted Monday to slash its salaries by 90 percent, and two members said they will not seek re-election when their terms are up.
The council voted unanimously to set every member’s salary at what Councilman Lorenzo Velez is paid — about $8,000 a year. The other four council members have been making about $100,000 a year for their part-time service on the City Council of this largely working-class city of about 40,000 residents southeast of Los Angeles. About 17 percent of Bell’s residents live in poverty.
The move came days after a scandal erupted over the pay of council members and other city officials. The city manager, who made nearly $800,000, has already resigned. And Attorney General Jerry Brown on Monday revealed he had subpoenaed hundreds of city records.
Mayor Oscar Hernandez said he would take no salary for the rest of his term and apologized for the excessive pay given to top officials, an about-face after he last week defended salaries of the city manager and other staff.