Madison: Policing the wild behavior at the Mifflin Street Block Party has never been cheap, but student demands to move the date of the party to April 30th will likely increase the overtime costs by $50,000.
Students want the party a week earlier because the traditional May 7 date interferes with a study day for finals.
The extra costs are why 11 Madison Common Council members signed a letter asking the Mayor to send a bill to the Associated Students of Madison. ASM is the student government agency that asked for the date change.
"This isn't an anti–student thing. It says go ahead, have the party, but have it on the traditional date. And if it's on the traditional date we'll pay for it. If you move it you gotta pick up some of the costs," says Ald. Zach Brandon.
"It's really ludicrous to expect ASM to pay one penny of the City's costs for this event that's now gone on for 35 years," says Ald. Mike Verveer.
Verveer represents the Mifflin St. area. He didn't sign the letter and says legally, the city can't demand payment.
Brandon knows the law is not on his side. "This doesn't say they have to pay. We have no legal recourse to force them to pay."
ASM says this is grandstanding and they have no intentions of paying anything. "We haven't even received a letter from Ald. Brandon. The letter went directly into the press," says ASM Chair Emily McWilliams.
"I think it's a publicity stunt to be frank about it," says Verveer.
Alder Brandon says sending a bill to students is similar to when the city billed the Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards campaigns for security costs last November when they visited Madison.
Then again, the City hasn't received any of that money either.