Fat cat officials in small, poor California city cause wide anger

08:35, July 21, 2010      

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At the start of the current financial crisis, banking executives in the United States were called fat cats, but this time officials from one of the poorest cities in the country have been given the name.

They are really fat cats and they become fat by taking taxpayers' money.

City of Bell is a small city in Los Angeles County with only 37, 000 residents, and also one of the poorest cities in the United States. However, City Manager Robert Rizzo makes 787,637 dollars a year, which is twice as much as U.S. President Barack Obama.

Police Chief Randy Adams was earning 457,000 dollars a year, more than President Obama and 50 percent more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck; and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia was earning 376,288 dollars, more than most city managers in the county and also in the country.

In small cities like Bell, the salaries of the city manager, assistant city manager, police and fire chiefs are set by five city council members who are elected by voters in the city.

The question is: why city council members would set such high salaries for city officials who only manage 37,000 people?

Part of the answer is: city council members themselves voted at city councils to get fat for themselves.

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