Leave a comment

The city’s latest financial commitment to the International Olympic Committee to compete for the 2016 Games has pushed one alderman to introduce a resolution to limit what financial guarantees can be made.

The city’s latest financial commitment to the International Olympic Committee to compete for the 2016 Games has pushed one alderman to introduce a resolution to limit what financial guarantees can be made.

Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) introduced a resolution June 30 that would not only cap financial guarantees but also require a full accounting of city funds used for the Olympics.

“I think it would have been smart for them (Chicago 2016 and Mayor Richard M. Daley) to have consulted us before making any further financial commitments,” Preckwinkle told the Defender. “The City Council had already signed off on $500 million in guarantees and now more tax dollars have been committed without any input from us.”

Preckwinkle, who is running for Cook County Board president, said the public should be able to trust their elected officials when it comes to investing their tax dollars.

And what upset aldermen even more was when they learned that Patrick Ryan, chairman of Chicago 2016, the city’s official Olympic committee, and Mayor Daley knew beforehand that Chicago would probably be forced to commit more money to remain in the running.

“When asked in a meeting with IOC (International Olympic Committee) members about whether Chicago would sign an unlimited guarantee, I agreed,” Daley said. “I believe that at a low risk to taxpayers, the Olympic Games will be a huge boost to our economy.”

But regardless of the mayor’s good intentions, Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said the mayor made a huge mistake.

“The mayor was wrong. He cannot omit the City Council from this process. He should have talked to us first,” she said. “That’s why communication is so important. I support Ald. Preckwinkle’s resolution to have a full accounting of all expenses and to hold public hearings on the matter.”

______

In photo: Ald. Leslie Hairston

To read the rest of this article, subscribe to our digital or paper edition. For previous editions, contact us for details.

Copyright 2009 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Also On The Chicago Defender:
Chicago is new fashion mecca for ethnic wear
34 photos
comments – add yours
×