City Waives $16,687 for Grammy Traffic Control : Finances: In a reversal of an earlier vote, the City Council waives the fees in a compromise that has the host committee paying for a party at the Biltmore.
The Los Angeles City Council voted 11-2 Wednesday to waive $16,687 in fees for the 35th annual Grammy Awards show at the Shrine Auditorium, reversing a Tuesday night vote.
In turn, the Los Angeles Grammy Host Committee agreed to pick up the tab for $7,705 in fees for a Wednesday evening Grammy-related party at the Biltmore Hotel.
The fee waivers--proposed by Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas to cover payroll costs for traffic control officers--were voted down 8-5 Tuesday after Councilwoman Ruth Galanter argued that the financially strapped city could not afford to waive fees.
The compromise was proposed Wednesday morning by Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky after heavy lobbying from the entertainment community and the mayor’s office, both of which fought hard to lure the awards show back to Los Angeles from New York.
Giant Records owner Irving Azoff, chairman of the host committee, applauded Wednesday’s move.
“I think the problem was that the City Council was misinformed about how much money the Grammys actually generate for the city,” Azoff said. “This event brings in millions and millions of dollars in revenue for Los Angeles.”
Michael Greene, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the organization that presents the annual Grammy Awards show, agreed.
“For the City Council to be nit-picking about a thousand here or there, it’s ridiculous,” Greene said. “The fact that a motion would even be considered to make it more difficult for special events such as the Grammys to take place in Los Angeles is a very clear indication that these people have no sense of history and are not long-term thinkers.”
Yaroslavsky, chairman of the budget and finance committee, said Wednesday that the city’s fiscal problems would prevent him from voting in favor of such a measure next year.
Times staff writer Andrea Ford contributed to this article.