Every year, Carson and the Samoan Community Center sponsor a Christmas breakfast for senior citizens, with the center paying for the breakfast and the city footing the bill for entertainment.
The show this year at the Thursday breakfast was a magic show, performed by headliner Piet Paulo, an illusionist who has performed at top Las Vegas hotels.
His fee for the show was $700, about half of what he normally charges.
But even with the discount, the size of his bill transformed City Council approval of expenses from a routine affair into an arena for municipal humor.
Councilwoman Sylvia Muise puckishly noted that labeling a $700 expense "magic" was particularly appropriate.
"It certainly is, to make money disappear," she declared. "Seven hundred dollars in 45 minutes! That's more than the city attorney makes!"
But City Atty. Glenn Watson, whose bills have also been the subject of council scrutiny, demurred.
"You haven't checked lately," he said dryly.