California City Officially Throws in the Towel
The small city of Maywood, California, is broke. So the city is planning to disband its police force, lay off municipal employees, and hire outside help to run day-to-day operations. Only a handful of top officials will remain in place.
California is screwed. The state has a $19 billion budget deficit, state Republicans nominated a failed CEO to run for Senate (which could be good, actually), and Los Angeles is cracking down on medical marijuana. And now, a small city south of Los Angeles, Maywood, has basically given up on everything. According to the Los Angeles Times, the city's $10.1 million general fund budget is at least $450,000 in the red and the city cannot get insurance coverage because of the high number of cases brought against its police force. From the paper:
We're limited on our choices and limited on what we can do," Councilman Felipe Aguirre said. "We don't want to file for bankruptcy. We don't want to disappear as a city."
Late Monday, a City Council meeting got a little heated, with people criticizing officials for running the city into the ground.
You single-handedly destroyed the city," Lizeth Sandoval, the city treasurer, told the City Council.
Just how screwed is Maywood? Pretty screwed. The city has a long history of crooked cops and vengeful city clerks that seems to have caught up with it. From the LAT:
Maywood has had a contentious history for years. In the last decade, shouting matches have erupted during council meetings, election campaigns have been marked by political hit pieces, and even an accusation was made that a city clerk tried to have a councilman killed.
The Police Department has been the focus of troubles as well. Four years ago, the department faced a political outcry when it began running checkpoints that resulted in hundreds of cars being taken away from unlicensed illegal immigrants. Critics charged the checkpoints were an attempt to make money off Maywood's large illegal immigrant population.
The checkpoint sparked a political movement that brought a new council that was more sympathetic to illegal immigrants. But Maywood was back in the headlines when it declared itself a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants, making the town a target of conservative talk radio and TV news shows.
The only top officials to keep their jobs will be the city attorney, city manager, and elected officials. Anarchy!