Who pays when a president comes to town?




This is fascinating to me and would love your opinion.

With all the extra security, the traffic control officers, and SWAT officers, just some of the requirements for a POTUS visit; it is a very expensive proposition for a town – any town. Last month, for example, it cost the city of Glendale approximately $61,000 when President Obama came to town. He spoke at DreamWorks Animation. Some cities and some of their officials don’t think they should have to pick up the whole check. Especially if the visit  isn’t necessarily for the townies or for the purpose of fund raising.

In a city council meeting this week Councilman Zareh Sinanyan said, “Glendale residents who didn’t have a chance to meet the president shouldn’t have to pay for the DreamWorks staff who did.” Sinanyan wants Dreamworks to kick in some bucks and help offset the cost. “Is it not fair for [DreamWorks] to foot at least part of the bill?” Sinanyan asked. “It’s not like the president came and met with the residents of Glendale.” Glendale Mayor Dave Weaver, and three other council members attended his speech, the Glendale News-Press reported.

A change of heart. Not all council members agree. Though Thursday Councilwoman Laura Friedman agreed with Sinanyan, she said she changed her mind on Friday.

Meanwhile,  Tom Lorenz, Glendale’s spokesman, says the city receives federal funds throughout the year, and paying for the presidential visit is just traditionally something cities have to do.

So. What do you think? Should DreamWorks or others help cities pay for a presidential visit? What about when a president speaks at a university or a community college?

A letter written in response to the Glendale News-Press:

Let’s do the math. The city of Glendale is struggling to “make” budget but is still picking up part of the tab for the president’s visit to DreamWorks to the tune of $61,000. According to Fortune, the chief executive of DreamWork’s Jeffrey Katzenberg is personally worth in the neighborhood of $800 million. Katzenberg has also given to and raised millions for the Democratic Party as well as the president’s campaigns. I’d say this little stopover in Glendale was a political payback and we the taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for it.

William Slaughter

And from the comment section of their blog:

To those who watched Obama’s motorcade through Concord (of which I was one) I can tell you the sense of pride and joy of so many people who stood on the sidewalk and applauded the president in appreciation while holding him in high regard. We may disagree on partisan issues, but everyone in the city benefits from Federal Safety money we get annually. Anybody care to look up how much of the city’s safety budget has come from the Federal Government? So we take the Federal grants to Fire, Police, Section 8 and GWP (of which Zanku Armenian was commissioner when we received $20 million in grants)and then nit pick the president from the city’s $750 million dollar budget? Who signed the legislation on the tens of millions of dollars the city receives each year from Washington?

We think we select the city’s leadership from experienced, thoughtful, and wise residents. We get a dose of reality when we actually watch them in action. How many tens of millions of dollars did we blow needlessly in the past six years with bad policies at the GWP?
Not convinced yet? How about this. This crazy idea goes on national TV where it is shown that Glendale has only a 2% African American population and the president get disrespected after a short visit. Sure, Let’s put Glendale on the map – as the laughing stock of America. The spirit of Christmas has yet to arrive in the hearts of many a resident.
Herbert Molano

Thanks to:

Glendale News-Press
LA Times
Photo culled from Google