The saga of Bell’s corruption is beginning its final, municipal chapter, as a new City Council starts working on correcting the ills of the past.

Last night, five new members of the City Council received their oaths of office before a standing room only crowd at city hall. As was stated by one of the members, they all come in with a clean slate.

But now they have to plug a hemorrhaging budget, expected to be as much as $4.5 million in the red by the end of this fiscal year. The choices they have to make won’t be popular. But in an improvement for the city, the discussions will be public, the decisions legal, and the hope is to restore the city to stable fiscal footing.

From the Los Angeles Times:

A new political era in scandal-plagued Bell was ushered in Thursday evening when five City Council members were sworn in during a packed and jubilant ceremony at City Hall.

“We are coming in with a clean slate,” Councilman Ali Saleh told the overflowing crowd of several hundred people whose applause resounded through a small community center. “We are inheriting a lot of wrongs that need to be righted.”

The new council, scheduled to meet for the first time Monday, will have to quickly grapple with tough budget-cutting decisions. The city is facing a projected deficit of $3.5 million to $4.5 million by the end of the fiscal year in June.

Read the full article here.