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Bell recall campaign underway

September 5, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Supporters of a recall effort have started gathering signatures in hopes of removing any remaining Bell city leaders involved in the now-infamous salary scandal.Volunteers have about 90 days to collect 2,500 signatures from residents in Bell.

They plan to hold the recall election in January to oust four of five City Council members who have refused to resign despite demands from residents.

Top administrators have resigned since reports surfaced that top city administrators were pulling down six-figure salaries. City Manager Robert Rizzo was making nearly $800,000 a year, the assistant city manager was paid just over $375,000 a year and the police chief had a salary of more than $450,000

The Bell Association to Stop the Abuse, known as BASTA, is going door-to-door for the signatures.

Campaign organizers acknowledged that a recall election ill be expensive. About $100,000 alone will be spent on voter education.

"We're doing our grassroots fundraising with the community, but we're also asking anyone touched by the situation to go online and donate what they can," said Kristina Garcia, an organizer with BASTA.

Volunteers said they are confident they can collect all the signatures necessary.

"Knowing that we got them out, the satisfaction of that and the statement that we're sending out as residents, to the nation as well, we're letting them know we're not having it," said Dale Walker of BASTA.

The city attorney sent a letter to the City Council suggesting they combine the recall the election with the general election in March. That would have to be approved by the council.


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