VERNON, Calif. (AP) — Fewer than 100 residents live in Vernon, a small industrial burg in the shadow of Los Angeles, surrounded by miles of gritty warehouses, meatpacking plants and manufacturing businesses.
Although Vernon is one of the least populated, most nondescript municipalities in the country, it is also one of the richest, with an annual tax base of approximately $334 million..
Its former city manager was paid $785,000 last year. The guy he replaced earned $1.65 million the year before and another city manager, who retired in 2005, pulls down an annual pension of $500,000.
But the money pot could be the 105-year-old city's undoing. Since it came to light earlier this year, state officials have moved to take away Vernon's status as a city, boot its elected officials out of their handsome City Hall offices and turn government operations over to Los Angeles County.
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