YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

City pays tab for Jackson memorial

July 16, 2009

Re "Mayor says L.A. will pay its Jackson event tab," July 14

I have a hard time understanding Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's decision to pay the estimated $1.4-million cost for police protection, traffic and other services connected with the Michael Jackson memorial service at Staples Center. I always believed public funds for funerals, including traffic management, was strictly for public figures such as a president, governor or mayor.

Michael Jackson was a very talented private figure.

I would hope the L.A. City Council, still trying to balance the budget, would have a vigorous debate on this issue.

Can it override the mayor's decision? Maybe it is time for some council leadership on this issue?

Jack McGrath

Valley Village


The mayor says "the idea that we would charge the family for a funeral is nonsensical."

But expecting Los Angeles taxpayers, a great many of whom are struggling to keep their jobs and provide for their families in one of the worst economic crises our city has ever experienced, to pay is not "nonsensical"?

Why doesn't our mayor have the same concern for us struggling taxpayers that he has for the mega-rich Jackson family and their friends?

Must be nice being able to afford to go on vacation to South Africa for two weeks, as the mayor did, while a lot of his constituents back home are worried about losing their homes or being able to feed their kids.

Who do you really work for, Mr. Mayor?

John Morales

Los Angeles


Councilman Dennis Zine is right on.

The city should not pay for something that AEG, the company that owns Staples Center, and the Jackson family wanted. L.A. is running a deficit and employees are forced into furloughs. How can the mayor justify the $1.4 million?

Nancy Davis



I grow tired of hearing how much revenue the event generated for businesses in the area.

Even if it resulted in some additional tax revenues for the city, the funds could have been better used for more urgent needs in the city of Los Angeles.

Bernard Shine

Los Angeles


Though Jackson was an amazing entertainer, he was not a public official nor a cop nor firefighter who died on duty in service to the city.

This money could be better spent (healthcare for the poor, anyone?) than for the pomp and circumstance of saying goodbye to a singer.

William Edwards

Los Angeles


Dear Mayor: Correction.

We are a world-class city that is millions of dollars in debt.

R.J. Johnson

North Hollywood

Los Angeles Times Articles