CANTON, Ohio – With Donald Trump set to hold a rally in Canton Wednesday, the city demanded his campaign pay the estimated cost of extra security up front.
Canton Mayor Thomas Bernabei said he requested the estimated $20,000 cost of added police and fire personnel, as well as the facility fee at the city-owned Canton Memorial Civic Center, where Trump is scheduled to hold a 7 p.m. rally. The city received payment from the Trump campaign Monday, according to Bernabei.
He said the city is facing $5 million in cuts to general fund spending and can’t afford to pay for campaign stops.
“We’re spending no money on anything in the general fund unless it’s absolutely essential to city services and to public safety,” Bernabei said. “We did not think it was a good use of taxpayer money to subsidize a political candidate.”
North Canton implemented a similar policy after the Mitt Romney campaign failed to reimburse it for about $10,000 in costs incurred during a 2012 event.
Security costs for a March Trump rally at the I-X Center in Cleveland, which followed unrest at a Chicago rally, totaled more than $68,000. Policing costs for a Labor Day campaign rally by Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine at Luke Easter Park in Cleveland reached more than $16,000. Neither campaign has yet reimbursed taxpayers for the costs.
“We are not gonna let that happen,” Bernabei said, adding that candidates are welcome, as long as they pay up front.
“This is applicable either to Mr. Trump, to Hillary Clinton, should she choose to come to Canton, or to any other candidate,” Bernabei said.