City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council member Dan Garodnick have launched a petition aimed at forcing the federal government — rather than New York City — to foot the bill for security at Trump Tower.
The cost of keeping the president-elect safe at the tower is estimated to be $1 million per day. Over the course of a four-year term, that figure could reach more than $1 billion, according to the petition.
“The provision of security services for presidents-elect must be the obligation of the federal government,” the petition claims. It also speaks directly to President-elect Donald Trump, urging him to “end the suspense,” and “make clear today that New York City is not going to get stuck with the bill.”
As of early Friday afternoon, the petition had received 292 signatures.
Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he reached out to the federal government to ask for help in covering the costs of securing Trump Tower. The mayor said he is confident the federal government will reimburse at least some of costs, as it has in other situations where the city has provided presidential security, such as during the General Assembly meetings at the United Nations.
Trump has indicated he would like to spend as much time as possible at Trump Tower, even after he moves into the White House. First Lady-elect Melania Trump has said she will remain in Trump Tower so that son Barron Trump can complete the school year in New York.
“Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked the values that represent New York City, while simultaneously drawing upon its resources without appreciation or acknowledgement,” Mark-Viverito said in a statement. “His refusal to base transition operations out of the nation’s capital has placed an unprecedented financial and logistical strain on our city and its first responders, and it is simply unsustainable.”
There are currently pedestrian barriers, roadblocks and other security measures in place on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Street. The security presence is expected to harm the luxury stores in the area, which is one of the most valuable retail strips in the world. — Miriam Hall