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Former President Bill Clinton and TV producer Ryan Seacrest will join Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Friday for a sendoff celebration. One local union has questioned the use of $75,000 worth of city services for the party.
Goodbye and hello seem to be the theme of this year's Celebrate LA party in Grand Park as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gets a festive sendoff and Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti is welcomed to his new third floor office at City Hall.
Former President Bill Clinton, television host and producer Ryan Seacrest, comedian Wanda Sykes, Rev. Chip Murray and Rabbi Don Goor will also be on hand for Friday's party at Grand Park. The free event runs from 5 -10 p.m. and include musical acts and food trucks.
The party is budgeted for $265,000. Of that, $190,000 was donated by Time Warner Cable, Wells Fargo, Disney, the Bohnett Foundation, LA 2050, the Department of Water and Power and Port of Los Angeles, according to the Mayor's Office. The remaining $75,000 represents the costs of city crews, such as police and street services. And that figure has raised eyebrows with at least one city union.
On both Facebook and Twitter, SEIU Local 721 called the in-kind services "a bum deal" and noted that the expenditure could pay a tree trimmer's salary for a year.
According to the Mayor's Office, there is a Celebrate LA party every year to commemorate the year's worth of heritage months — Latino, African-American, Native American, Asian/Pacific Islander, and LGBT.