Report Finds Special Events Cost L.A. Millions, Urges Changes

From a Times Staff Writer

Special events, from block parties to the Oscars, cost Los Angeles taxpayers nearly $9 million in waived fees and staff time in fiscal 2001-02, according to a city report issued Thursday.

The amount the city spends on such special events has periodically caused concern among elected officials, most recently when officials revealed in September that Los Angeles would spend $180,000 for Bob Hope's memorial service.

At the request of City Councilman Jack Weiss, council members commissioned a report on how many special events are held each year in the city and how much they cost. The report also recommended that Los Angeles streamline its special events process by creating a centralized, one-stop special events permit office, and that the city stop waiving fees for commercial special events.

Council members will consider the report in the coming weeks.

"I think we ought to have a public debate about all of these issues out in the open with the dollars and cents out on the table," Weiss said.

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