“Show me the money!” That's the tune the city of Los Angeles is singing after Michael Jackson’s memorial.
Yes, it was a historical event. Indeed it was a beautiful ceremony and very emotional. But now that we’ve wiped our tears, how is the city of Los Angeles going to pay the $1.4 million dollars it cost to put on the memorial? That’s $1.4 million the debt-ridden city doesn’t even have. LA happens to already be $530 million in debt.
Spokeswomen Sarah Hamilton said the high cost was attributed to the extra police officers on the streets, picking up the extra trash on the streets, the barricades, traffic control, and sanitation. A third of the entire LAPD was on hand that day to ensure the event ran smoothly.
The financial situation is so serious that the city of Los Angeles is launching a Web site, asking fans for donations. The morning of the event, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa asked fans via his Twitter to make donations to the city to help pay for Michael’s memorial. Only $17,000 came in. That may have had something to do with the site crashing for 12 hours.
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry has said that she would "love it" if the Jackson family would help cover some of the expenses. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Daily News reports, city councilman Dennis Zine said today that "concert promoter and Staples Center owner AEG should pay all the expenses for Michael Jackson's memorial tribute, and the cash-strapped city should be reimbursed for the cost of deploying police and fire crews to secure the streets around the event. "
"This is not an emergency. This is a memorial service for a celebrity who died a week ago," Zine said. "We are cognizant of AEG's need to honor the memory of Michael Jackson, but they should also be cognizant of the taxpayers' needs."
Yes, it cost the city a ton of money, but on the upside, it also drew a lot of attention to the city. Fans flew to Los Angeles from all over the world to witness the memorial. Restaurants, hotels, and the city in general saw business boom this week, and none of that would have happened if it wasn't for the memorial. But do you still think the Jackson family or AEG should be responsible for paying for the cost? You tell us!