Thursday, January 15, 2009

Really? Silence? Does any alderman have a backbone?

Well I missed this article, but it's worth noting. Sent to this blog by a very special reader. From the Tribune:
Without a single word of debate, aldermen voted Tuesday to use new property tax revenue for Chicago's 2016 Olympics bid and guaranteed the city would cover additional police patrols, street cleaning and other services for the Summer Games.

Before the vote, Ald. Edward Burke (14th) expressed surprise that none of his council colleagues wished to add their input on the topic."Like the good old Peggy Lee song, Is that all there is?" Burke said.

The measure commits the city to using an unspecified amount of tax-increment financing dollars to subsidize infrastructure improvements at the Near South Side site of what would be the Olympic Village. It reaffirms a $500 million promise to cover any operating deficit for the event.

Olympics bid committee officials have said they are almost certain the city would not be called upon to cover the $500 million guarantee and that taxes on ticket sales would offset the costs of providing city services, estimated at $45 million.

Chicago is one of four finalists for the 2016 Games, competing with Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.
I'm really an agnostic on whether or not Chicago should get the Olympics, but there should have been more debate as to where this money is going. Perhaps even discussion over how this expenditure would benefit the city!

1 comment:

  1. Groups of 10-12 Aldermen had 2 sets of briefings over the past month which were filled with questions, answers, interrogations, documents and numbers. Next there was the Finance Committee meeting where collectively the Aldermen went over each detail again.

    We debated over the value of the Olympics to the communities, the guarantees required for the IOC, the opportunities for participation by city businesses, and the structure of the Legacy Fund which is the fund that the proceeds get poured into for the City. The costs and benefits analysis (what is in it for the neighborhoods, how will the Legacy Fund be managed, what facilities will communities receive or have access to, who runs and pays for the maintenance of those facilities, what programs have we or are we creating that will provide long term development, educational and/or recreational outlets for our youth).

    As a result there was no additional debate at this Council meeting, because there will be many more opportunities to debate particular items as the bid moves forward. This was the vote that was mandatory authorizing the City to submit the bid book.


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