The Los Angeles City Council voted to cut by half the amount the city is spending to provide city services for many special events presented by nonprofit organizations, such as arts and community festivals.
In recent years, the city has made a practice of providing numerous groups with a fee waiver to cover 100% of the cost of police, traffic cops, firefighters, street custodians and street inspectors required for their events. But Lynne Ozawa, assistant chief legislative analyst for Los Angeles, says those annual costs were getting out of control.
"It's at least $5 million," she says, adding that overtime for safety and custodial services probably boost the costs far higher.
Nonprofits may now obtain a fee waiver for only 50% of such costs and can apply for waivers for only two events per year. Before now, nobody was really keeping track of how many events each organization was putting in for, Ozawa says.