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Michael Jackson memorial: Council members press to learn costs and benefits to L.A.

July 10, 2009 |  4:02 pm

Mj memorial

For those keeping track of potential Michael Jackson investigations, here are a couple of new requests to add to the list.

Los Angeles City Councilmembers Dennis Zine and Jan Perry are asking the city's administrative officer to review all city expenditures "made in response to the public reaction to the passing of Michael Jackson," and report on possible measures to offset those costs. They are also asking the city's budget and legislative analysts to come up with a policy that would create financial oversight and determine liability for "extraordinary, non-emergency, multi-departmental, large-scale events."

Zine, who shares City Controller Wendy Greuel's concern about a $48,826 boxed lunch order for 3,500 Michael Jackson first-responders from a sandwich shop in Wrightwood, has asked the city's chief legislative analyst to report back on how the city selects its vendors, particularly those outside city limits.

"The city's contracting requirements must not become so onerous that taxpayers are left footing exorbitant bills from non-local businesses," Zine said in his council motion.

While Zine has railed against the costs of the memorial, Councilwoman Janice Hahn offered a different view, saying the city benefited from the Jackson memorial. Today, Hahn introduced her own motion calling for a complete accounting of the tourism benefits derived from the memorial, saying it promoted Los Angeles as a global destination for Jackson fans.

“Los Angeles really looked good to the world,” she said.

Council members will take up the proposals later this month, and we hear there is more legislation in the works.

-- Maeve Reston and David Zahniser at L.A. City Hall

Photo: Police line the front of the Staples Center prior to the Michael Jackson memorial service. Credit: Sean Masterson / EPA