Costs for Trump’s Phoenix Rally Could Cause Sticker Shock for City Taxpayers
I can promise you, Trump isn’t worried about the costs, especially since it’s in Phoenix’s pocket.
According to a report from AZCentral.com, Trump’s ego-stroke campaign rally in the city last month has left taxpayers with nearly a half million dollar tab for city employee overtime.
The police department — which had a vast and visible presence outside the convention center before, during and after Trump’s rally — incurred the majority of the cost. But the fire, streets, water and public works departments all racked up substantial expenditures as well.
As has been the case with Trump rallies, since he actually had a reason to have them (like, when it was election season), there were protests and a need to have a law enforcement presence in greater numbers on the ground.
Here’s the cost incurred by each department:
— Public Works: $2,928
— Water Services : $4,481
— Street Transportation: $49,767
— Fire Department: $60,483
—Police Department: $336,887
Trump’s campaign foot the bill for the venue and their indoor security, to the tune of about $50,000, according to City Manager Ed Zuercher.
There were thousands of protesters in the streets that night, and they likely would have continued on for some time, had officers not deployed pepper balls, pepper spray, and various other means to “gently” convince the crowds that it was time to pack up their signs and go home.
Zuercher said it would be inappropriate to charge Trump’s campaign or the protest groups for the costs the city incurred to manage the civic response to the president’s visit.
“You can’t dampen free speech by telling people they have to pay for free speech,” Zuercher said.
Well, that’s one way to look at it.
And of course, there’s always the opposing view:
“It’s 2017. He just won in 2016. This shouldn’t be something that the city of Phoenix should pay for,” Arizona Democratic Party spokesman Enrique Gutierrez said.
What do the taxpayers of Phoenix think? Ultimately, their opinion matters most.