I know you are probably screaming: Not another Michael Jackson column, but this one must be written. It does not involve how he died, but who will pick up the tab for the police force used at his memorial service this Tuesday. The onus for this security force will be born by the taxpayers of Los Angeles and will cost $2 million dollars.
According to the L.A.Times, "The city of Los Angeles is a half-billion dollars in the hole. Layoffs. Furloughs. Potholes unfilled, trees untrimmed. Animal services, the ethics commission, whack whack whack." Fan or not, it is uncalled for to put such a strain on a city that is overstressed economically. It is only right and just to ask that the Jackson family shell out these funds so the taxpayers are not forced to.
In reading another L.A.Times article, L.A. City Councilwoman Jan Perry stated that the city would "dip into a special fund set aside for extraordinary events to pay for the security costs associated with Michael Jackson's memorial service Tuesday at Staples Center." Again, given the fact that the city itself is a half-billion dollars in debt: This special fund if one can believe a city has set aside should for such an event given its deficit should be used on behalf of the taxpayers. After all, Jackson died leaving millions to his beneficiaries. Knowing how fans would react to his passing, Jackson should have set aside funds to pay for such an elaborate memorial service given the city's deficit.
While the Councilwoman stated that they are reaching out to private donors to help fund this memorial service, there are taxpayers who go without and to ask them to pay for a service is uncalled for since she was elected to represent the people. She should instead be reaching out to private donors to help with the needs of her constituents. I would suspect that many of her constituents cannot even afford their own burial at this point.
According to this article, Perry told CNN: "that the Jackson family had not come forward to pay for taxpayer costs associated with the memorial..."I am not aware of any activity from the family to do that" I say to the Jackson family, pay up! It is unconscionable to drain the city coffers to pay for your son's and sibling's memorial.
Outlined in this L.A. Times article dated, May 28th, 2009 are the deep cuts facing not only those who live in Los Angeles, but the state as well. As you will read, California is now faced with a $24 billion dollar deficit and where it "would halt medical insurance for more than 2 million Californians, sending them streaming into emergency rooms and costing the state billions of dollars for the more expensive care -- and potentially causing deaths." Many of their deaths will not be overly reported as Jackson's was and still is. In fact, these deaths will not be reported on in the media. No one will know their names.
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