City plans party, forgets to invite guests

Residents of Ashdod are fuming that the city shelled out at least NIS 50,000 on a concert by the popular Israeli band Hadag Nahash - but then failed to advertise the show, reports Only 65 people ended up at the event, one-third of whom were paid security guards and most of the remainder were passersby who happened to be in the area. According to the report, the city decided to organize the concert as a thank-you present to the school students taking part in the massive NIS 15 million municipal cleanliness project, as part of which students receive instruction in class and go out on cleanliness missions in neighborhoods. But although the city had been covered with posters advertising the cleanliness project, and although the band and security guards were hired and a stage was set up on Hof Hakshatot, the city "forgot" to publicize the concert and very few people knew it was taking place. Residents said their children had not been told about the concert at school and had not known about it. One Ashdod resident said she heard that the concert had cost NIS 100,000, "or, by a simple calculation, it cost us, the taxpayers, NIS 1,500 for every person who saw it." She said that those responsible for the "colossal mess-up" should be made to pay personally. A municipal spokesman responded that the event had cost NIS 50,000 and that it had been advertised at schools, but very few had attended the concert "for reasons that have not yet been clarified."