The small city of Maywood, south of downtown Los Angeles, after years of police misconduct problems has become uninsurable, and chooses the cost-cutting solution of firing all its non-elected employees and contracting out all its services, many to another local small city, Bell.
Favorite details from the Los Angeles Times account on how Maywood got to where it is today:
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.
For more quotes, links, and info regarding the "contract city" phenomenon in California, see my California news and politics blog "City of Angles."