Fueled by hefty tax revenue from the Commerce Casino, Citadel outlet mall and other businesses, the city has long provided services to residents that surrounding communities cannot match, including extensive recreation facilities, rent subsidies for the elderly and even a mountain retreat.
But the generous largess masks what to many residents is another problem that has plagued the region: Government dysfunction. Neighbors like Bell, Vernon and South Gate have been rocked by highly publicized corruption scandals. And Commerce is now also having its own struggles.
Baca Del Rio was reelected in 2009 after being recalled the year before. Councilman Hugo Argumedo was reelected last year after being forced to resign in 2010 because of a misdemeanor obstruction of justice conviction