BY PAUL LEIGHTON
---- — BEVERLY — The final tally is in. Not for the “American Idol” voting, but for the cost to the city of hosting Angie Miller’s hometown visit.
The city spent $31,200 on security, cleanup and other costs associated with Saturday’s events, Mayor Bill Scanlon said yesterday.
The biggest expense was police overtime, which amounted to $12,700. Other costs included overtime for Department of Public Services workers ($4,800), firefighters ($2,300) and school custodians ($1,200) and the cost of renting sound equipment ($4,200), the outdoor stage ($3,500) and portable toilets ($2,500).
Some of the costs will be offset by donations of $5,000 each from Eastern Bank and Endicott College, Scanlon said. Many people also donated their time to plan the events and help out throughout the day, he said.
As for the cost to the city, Scanlon said, “It’s kind of our national advertising for the year.”
Footage of Miller’s visit shot by Fox TV will be shown on tomorrow’s “American Idol,” a show that attracts about 12 million viewers.
“It’s national publicity for the city,” Scanlon said. “When you think of what people pay to advertise on the Super Bowl, this is kind of our opportunity at that.”
Scanlon said “American Idol” did not help pay for the hometown visit.
Despite the huge crowds, police Chief Mark Ray said there were “no problems whatsoever.”
“It was a terrific crowd, very family-oriented,” he said. “Everybody was there for fun.”
Ray said police had to plan for crowds of anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000. A total of 23 police officers were on duty providing security and traffic control.
Ray estimated the crowd at around 15,000. By comparison, Candice Glover drew about 10,000 for her hometown visit in Beaufort, S.C., according to the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Kree Harrison drew “thousands” in her hometown of Beaumont, Texas, according to TV station KTRE.
In the driver’s seat
While thousands of people were straining to get an up-close view of Miller, all Nancy Putnam had to do was turn around and look in the back seat.
Putnam had the distinction of serving as the driver of the white Mustang convertible in which Miller rode in the parade from City Hall to the high school.
“It was better than my wedding day,” Putnam said. “I had more attention than being a bride.”
Putnam is the office manager at Thomas Ford, the Rantoul Street dealership that supplied the convertible. She’s also a true blue Angie fan, having been the person who first came up with the idea of those “Beverly Loves Angie” signs that started proliferating a month ago.
Putnam had to share the front seat with an “American Idol” producer and cameraman. Miller sat on the back seat between her mother and brother.
“They’re such nice people, so genuine,” Putnam said. “The excitement level was just incredible. When we got down to Herrick Street, you couldn’t hear yourself think it was so loud.”
Putnam plans to have a T-shirt made up in honor of her role that says, “Driving Miss Angie.”
Drummer gets his chance
The biggest crowd Eli Adelman had performed in front of was about 2,500. On Saturday, he found himself on stage with an audience at least five times as large.
Adelman filled in on drums for three of the songs performed by Miller at the outdoor concert at the high school. Adelman, 23, works at the Drum Shop in Beverly and has played with Miller and her brother, Jonathan, in the band at Remix Church in Salem, where Miller’s parents are the co-pastors.
“It was awesome,” Adelman said. “We haven’t played with Angie since she left for L.A. (to perform on ‘American Idol’). It was awesome playing with her again.”
Like the tradition of hockey players not shaving during the playoffs, Adelman and Jonathan Miller have pledged not to shave their beards until Angie wins “American Idol.”
Adelman said he likes his beard so much he might not shave until she wins a Grammy.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.