In Bell, city officials were able to pad their pay checks by serving on multiple commissions, councils, or boards simultaneously. The serial and concurrent sessions accomplished nothing, had nothing on the agenda, but that didn’t keep the council from collecting their per diems for the day. For their part time work, the council members earned about $100,000 per year.

However, after Governor Brown signed AB 23, serial and consecutive meetings must now be announced, along with a disclosure of how much compensation is being awarded for the meeting. It’s what has been previously described on PublicCEO as the “town crier” form of transparency, and it’s now the law in California.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Gov. Jerry Brown took action Monday to make it harder for city council members to improperly pad their paychecks, giving his first signature to reform legislation in response to the city of Bell financial scandal.

In recent years, Bell City Council members were making more than $100,000 a year for part-time jobs by receiving stipends for serving on various boards and commissions that often met during council meetings, sometimes for just minutes.

On Monday, Brown signed into law AB 23, which requires city officials to announce, when holding simultaneous or back-to-back meetings, how much those attending the meetings will receive in stipends.

Read the full article here.