It’s absolutely no joke, LA is cash strapped and broke. The city, which is looking at cutting most social programs like welfare, free medical assistance to the poor, college tuition grants and has even not paid may residents their state tax yet, spent $1.4 million to provide security, traffic control and other services for Michael Jackson’s memorial service, city officials said as they looked for ways to have others help the financially troubled city pick up the bill.
The cost was much less than the expected 4 million dollar tab that was estimated. In that, one must ask two questions: how much money did the city make off the tourists who CAME to the event? People from all over the world? C’mon AND how much money did the city spend to attempt to prosecute Michael in the last child molestation allegation? Michael wins again. Some citizens are pissed because the city picked up the tab for the memorial but would not do the same for the Lakers victory parade? You know, the parade was supposed to follow the “celebration” where cars were turned over and burned, fires were set and all hell broke lose. Wonder how much the city had to pay to clean that up. In the end,the parade for the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers cost an estimated $2 million. AEG Live, the owner and operator of The Staples Center gave $1 million to the city for that event and other private donors stepped in. Nevertheless, AEG probably made a 100 times that much too. To compare the two events is an insult to Michael’s legacy. In addition Michael has contibuted endlessly to various charities in California. The state should be making every effort to turn Neverland into a Theme Park and they could make that 1.4 million back in the first week of it opening.
The amount for the memorial included $1.1 million in overtime pay for the 4,173 officers who worked to secure Staples Center, Forest Lawn cemetery and other areas that attracted fans and members of the media, the Police Department said in a statement. City officials said Wednesday that the remaining amount covered traffic control, cleanup and other costs related to Tuesday’s public memorial service, which was attended by a total of more than 17,000 fans and watched by tens of millions of people around the world. The city has actually set up a website urging fans to make tax-deductible donations through credit cards, PayPal or check to help defray costs. WHAT? Fans have thus far donated $17,000, but contributions have been hampered by technical problems, Szabo said in a statement. The site received so many hits that the servers crashed Tuesday night and several times Wednesday. The city’s information technology department is working to rectify the problems. This is most unfortunate, the city needs help and is not even SET UP to receive it? Where is the REAL problem? AEG Live, thus far, has not committed any money to the Jackson memorial, which it organized and promoted. Without question, they are going to make sure they get a return on their investment and I’m sure they MADE money from the event.
Some things were simply OVER expenditures. In a letter to the emergency management department in LA one rep claims nearly $49,000 was spent for police officers’ lunches, which were ordered from a restaurant located 80 miles from Los Angeles. Is there no place to eat IN Los Angeles? One rep admitted calling a local sand wich shop that could have provided box lunches for less than $17,500. The purchase would have had the added benefit of supporting a local business, she said. The city is obviously having problems with it’s management which in large part is probably the REAL problem.
The Jackson memorial was the second recent event that resulted in extraordinary costs at a time when the city is a half-billion dollars in debt and facing employee layoffs.