The contract for Bell’s interim City Administrator, Pedro Carrillo, expired on Friday and while Carrillo has noted that he does not want the position permanently, he offered to continue in the role in order to help the city find a suitable replacement. However, the council declined his offer. We relayed recently that the troubled city has had little luck initially in findting a leader to take on the City Manager’s role, so in the meantime, Mayor Ali Saleh will serve as Administrator and handle the day-to-day municipal affairs. In a letter to Saleh dated in late June, Carrillo makes clear his intentions about his expired contract and the qualifications the permanent city manager should possess. You can read the letter here. Saleh, who is a political newcomer, previously stated he did not want the responsibility and expressed hope that the council would appoint someone new soon.
We noted recently that the city had received no applications for the City Manager’s position, but after working with professional government management groups, Bell has now received interest from some applicants. But the city’s problems remain. Bell is reported to have a deficit of $4 million and has had trouble reaching stability in the aftermath of the scandal. There is also mounting bond debt. While Carrillo previously presented a detailed budget plan, it apparently didn’t sit well with the council, as officials said they were likely to reject it. The LA Times reports:
“The city decided to part ways with Pedro Carrillo as he proposed a tough new set of budget cuts aimed at holding off insolvency, including leaving executive positions unfilled, eliminating the three highest-ranking police officers in the city and forcing employees to pay for half of their retirement.”
Mayor Saleh noted the city would probably start from scratch with a new budget plan once they reject Carrillo’s proposal.