Permit fees of about $9,000 for an environmental fund-raising event have been waived by the city of Burbank over the objections of a conservative councilman.
Councilman Bob Bowne said the waivers amount to a de facto contribution to Earthwalk, a march sponsored by an organization of employees from several Hollywood studios.
“If one does not support some of these organizations, you’re subjected to criticism,” said Bowne, who was on the losing side of a 3-2 vote to approve a fee waiver for Earthwalk. “But that’s OK. I’m used to it.”
The walk, to be held April 17, will begin at Universal Studios and proceed to Warner Bros., NBC and Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. Comedian Jay Leno is slated to host the walk.
Mayor George Battey Jr. also voted against the waiver. But supporters said that the event will be good for the city’s image and that their action supports the entertainment industry so critical to the city. Funds raised by the event will go to the American Red Cross earthquake relief fund and the Salvation Army.
The permit fees would have covered the city’s costs for the walk, including police, traffic and crowd control, street barricades and cones.
Funds raised in the event will also go to a variety of environmental organizations, including American Oceans Campaign, the Center for Environmental Education, Heal the Bay, the National Resources Defense Council and TreePeople.