According to a glendalenewspress.com poll, 62% of 406 respondents as of Wednesday afternoon believe DreamWorks Animation should help Glendale pay for the $61,000 in security the city provided during President Barack Obama’s visit to the studio in November.
Last week, Councilman Zareh Sinanyan questioned why the city had to foot the bill alone when the president visited only with DreamWorks employees, entertainment industry executives and politicians, and not residents of Glendale.
In late November, Obama spoke about the entertainment’s role in the nation’s economy and diplomacy before a crowd of about 2,000 people at DreamWorks Animation in Glendale as part of a fundraising trip in Los Angeles. DreamWorks’ executive director Jeffrey Katzenberg is one of Obama’s top donors.
The approximately $61,000 covered the cost of 92 personnel, ranging from SWAT to traffic-control officers. City Manager Scott Ochoa said covering the security cost was expected by cities that host the president.
DreamWorks spokeswoman Allison Rawlings said last week the studio was honored by Obama’s visit and had not discussed the security costs as the city did not contact them directly about the issue.
Zanku Armenian, a commissioner on the Community Development Block Grant committee, commented on the online story that he thought DreamWorks should pay the bill.
“It's amazing to me how some elected leaders and staff are so easy to sign the check when it comes to this expense but yet also so quick to reply that we have no money when it comes to paying for other essential city services like extra patrols to keep our neighborhoods safe,” Armenian wrote. “Why doesn't DreamWorks be a good corporate citizen and volunteer to help the city out with the bill? I'm sure Jeff Katzenberg wouldn't even feel the amount missing from his checkbook.”
But, Scott Lowe, who runs a local blog, tropicostation.blogspot.com, said given the magnitude of a presidential visit, Glendale should let the cost slide.
“Given that Glendale only deals with presidential visits every 15 years or so, the costs involved seem to be a small price to pay for the honor of a presidential visit and to shine a positive light on Glendale to a worldwide audience,” Lowe commented on the story.
The glendalenewspress.com poll was posted on Monday. The results are not scientific.