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Bell residents overcharged for sewer fees

September 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Bell City Council voted unanimously Friday to subpoena any city records that former city manager Robert Rizzo might have in his private e-mail account. It's the latest twist in the scandal over the exorbitant salaries of several city leaders. But that's not the only issue plaguing the city. The city is under fire for overcharging Bell residents for sewer fees.

For Bell residents, the news gets worse by the day.

First it was the outrageous salaries some city employees pulled in.

Then it was the news that their taxes were higher than they should be.

Now they are learning their sewage fees are higher too.

"Again, it continues to show the mismanagement and the greed of the Robert Rizzo regime," said Bell resident Cristina Garcia, a member of Bell Association to Stop the Abuse (BASTA).

For many frustrated residents, the only solution now is for the mayor and city council to resign.

"My answer is no, I won't resign, so if you want to lose your time continuing to request that I do, you can continue to lose your time here, but I will not resign," said Bell City Councilwoman Teresa Jacobo.

The inflated sewage fees weren't even on the agenda for Friday's meeting. Council members spent most of their time talking about civil action against former city manager Robert Rizzo.

"We believe that Mr. Rizzo may have conducted official business using a private e-mail account, so we want to find what those documents are, and if in fact he did that," said Interim Bell City Attorney James Casso. "And if he did, those are the property of the city of Bell and we want to get them back."

In a town where residents feel cheated at every turn by their own government, the only pledge most want to hear from city officials is that those responsible are paying a price for ripping them off.


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