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Council meet to decide fate of Oscar fee waiver

The Los Angeles City Council will meet today to decide whether or not it will waive at least $ 50,000 in fees for traffic control at next Monday’s Academy Awards show at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Although the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences had pushed for a waiver of the fees — in a letter sent to council president John Ferraro by Acad president Robert Rehme — a number of City Council members are reluctant to go along with the plan, especially with the city facing a possible projected budget shortfall of $ 500 million.

“I am very opposed to it,” Councilman Ernani Bernardi said yesterday. “They are going to be coming down in over 500 limousines. If they can afford limousines, they can afford $ 50,000. That $ 50,000 would pay for one officer who protects them.

Bernardi also took issue with the Academy’s argument that the Awards show is a boon to the city’s economy.

“That may be true, but everybody who puts on an event here says that,” said Bernardi, who also pointed to the fact that the organizers of the L.A. Marathon pick up all costs connected with traffic control.

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