Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Cities are Falling

The city of Maywood, CA, recently shut down their police department and outsourced all services. This is because their police department was so corrupt that the city could no longer afford the insurance necessary to guard against lawsuits. They outsourced their police protection to the city of Bell, CA.

The city of Bell, CA, was the next city in the news. It was discovered by the Los Angeles Times that City Manager Robert Rizzo was making $787,637 per year, Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia was making $376,288, and Police Chief Randy Adams was making $457,000. The city has a population of 36,664 and a median income of $29,946, well below the state average.

For two weeks in a row, there has been overflow attendance at city council meetings. The first time the council immediately recessed for seven hours, not resuming business until after midnight. The second time the council reconvened earlier to meet the demands of their citizens. When the citizens of Bell demanded the resignation of the whole council, the response was that the mayor offered to work the rest of his term for no pay and the rest of the council offered to work at one-tenth their prior pay.

As it was members of the police department who allegedly tipped off the Los Angeles Times regarding the pay issue, it was thought that the city council was going to disband their police force in retaliation at that second meeting and turn security over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. It was even reported by John and Ken that there was an agreement between Police Chief Adams and Sheriff Baca that ensured the Sheriff’s Department would not hire any of the displaced police. So far the department is still intact, although the threat of retribution is still very real.

On Monday, July 26, State Attorney General Jerry Brown issued a subpoena for all city records, giving the city officials 48 hours to comply. It is doubtful that in any case not involving government officials he would announce that the culprits have 48 hours to destroy all evidence. Eventually a police raid did occur, not led by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department or any state enforcement agency, but by Police Chief Adams who was barred from his own office.

There is obviously a lot of corruption in the city of Bell, just as there is in the city of Maywood. The mood in Bell was extremely bitter to the point where city councilmen desired police protection to simply get from their cars to the city council meeting.

These are just current events. It was California that also hosted the first city to go bankrupt as a result of the Greater Depression, the city of Vallejo. Across the state of California, and across much of the nation as well, cities are being hit hard.

Listening to John and Ken report on it, one thing became clear: the people are angrier than ever. In spite of efforts to force the Tea Party movement into picking a side and only one side, keeping the greater freedom movement divided, the people as a whole are angrier than ever before. Had it been announced that the crowd had turned violent, it would not have been surprising to any listener.

Many people are starting to see a definite possibility of a second American Revolution, probably more similar to The French Revolution than the first American Revolution. As each new scandal of each new city hits the news, each scandal worse than the one before, it gives reason to ponder if that revolution could be sparked by a particularly corrupt city and a riot that gets out of control.

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