Bell, California became the poster child for everything that is wrong with government when it was revealed that three city officials there were paid $1.6 million to work in a city of fewer than 40,000 residents.

The Bell city manager was paid $787,637 a year. The police chief’s salary was $457,000, and the assistant city manager was paid $376,288.

When somebody finally noticed these huge salaries, the three were forced to resign.

Four of the City Council members who make nearly $100,000 a year will probably be recalled or voted out of office. Monday night, the members of the Bell City Council voted to give themselves a 90 percent pay cut to $673 a month.

The greed of public officials is only part of the story. It was allowed to happen because of lack of oversight by the public and media.

Bottom line: Bell is what happens in the absence of watchdogs. That’s scary, because watchdogs in the media are becoming casualties of the business reality threatening the extinction of media outlets, including newspapers.

Read More: Visali Times-Delta

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