General Question

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Should the city of Los Angeles be paying for Michael Jackson's memorial?

Asked by The_Compassionate_Heretic (14548 points ) July 4th, 2009

The city will be picking up the tab for security, trash removal, the city’s fire department and police will also have to be present taking much needed resources away from the rest of the city. The city is also asking for private donations to fund the effort.

The Jackson family is paying nothing towards these services so the funds are coming directly from the taxpayers and it is not going to be a small price tag.

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14 Answers

Dog's avatar

The city has no choice. The safety of the public is their responsibility.
Personally I feel it is not right but if it was a president would the federal government reimburse the city? I do not think it is likely.

Perhaps they should have sold the tickets to the service to cover the cost…

Tink's avatar

I don’t think they should, it’s not LA’s fault he died. The familiy should be the ones paying.

Dog's avatar

@Tink1113 Sadly this event falls into a “world event” or “historic event” category due to the popularity of the deceased. Because he happens to have resided in LA the city is the unfortunate recipient of the worldwide attention from the death of a resident.

Alternately one might say that the attention and influx of travelers to the city for the event will boost tax revenue briefly. Though I doubt that the income will meet the costs.

Tink's avatar

@Dog Well thats sad

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

A smaller, private service was always an option but the decision was made to go big.

Dog's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic True a private service would have been much better for the city. However the public appears to have been very vocal in wanting a public service.

Despite my (not a fan) feelings for the deceased and the fact that the city will be left with a huge tab I wonder if this question would be the same if the decedent had been a national hero rather than a musician?

If for example the service was for Todd Beamer would we as a city be proud enough to cover the cost of the services without question?

Just playing around here for the sake of conversation.

jrpowell's avatar

@Dog :: The one for Ronald Reagan was probably bigger than the one for MJ will be. But like you said in your first comment. It is a safety issue and that falls on the city. It isn’t like the tax payers bought the drinks and casket.

SuperMouse's avatar

I think that since the family decided to plan such and elaborate service and regardless of what the public wanted, they should be on the hook for at least some of the cost.

Heck doesn’t the family still have access to all that land up by Santa Barbara? Why not have the memorial at Neverland and pay for the security and clean-up themselves? All these dedicated fans would be willing to drive up the coast.

tinyfaery's avatar

The city had to approve it, so someone decided to use taxpayer money. It’s them we should focus our ire on. Michael Jackson has nothing to do with it.

YARNLADY's avatar

Since a lot of people coming into town will be spending a lot of money, it will probably be at least break-even. You’d be surprised how much money a city rakes in when they host a large event like that.

andrew's avatar

I agree. I mean, look at the millions and millions spent on the Olympics—surely the model works financially.

I don’t have a problem with it—since it’s going to happen either way.

@Dog To many people, he is a hero—and extremely significant to their lives. If you call a “hero” someone who significantly touches people—and considering the breadth of touching MJ did—I’d say he qualifies as a hero.

I know, I couldn’t help myself. But no, but I’d say he’d qualify as a hero to many.

Dog's avatar

@andrew I was not bashing Mr. Jackson at all. He has helped multitudes through his charitable works.

My point was to examine if people who are against the city paying for Mr. Jackson would think the City should pay if he was not an entertainer. I suppose that would be a question in itself.

JLeslie's avatar

Don’t you have to pay for the police to escort the funeral procession if a loved one dies? Seems like Michael’s family should be paying for some of this. I would not compare a president to an entertainer, even if I didn’t vote for him.

YARNLADY's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, many of the ‘normal’ expenses of a funeral are going to be billed to the foundation that has been set up. People are making a big deal out of something without actually looking at the facts. There were millions and millions of people in town for this event and both the city and the state of California have received a windfall of uncounted millions of dollars in tax revenue. The taxpayer is the big winner here, not the other way around.

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