A secret meeting was reportedly held Wednesday between Chicago’s aldermen and Chicago 2016 officials over revelations that Chicago taxpayers would be on the hook should the city host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and then lose money.
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley ordered that the meeting should take place immediately to try and calm the nerves of the aldermen.
Alderman George Cardenas said, “I think one of the things that came out of it that was informative is the fact that the mayor did not sign any agreement. I think he committed that the city would have full guarantees to his financial scheme, and it’s very important for people to understand that that’s what happened”.
Alderman Bob Fiorette commented that people want to have the Olympics in Chicago, but want full disclosure. He said, “we want transparency. We want to know how much we’re responsible for here”.
As to the results of the meeting, the Chicago Sun Times reports they won’t be known until Chicago City Council takes another vote on whether to give the mayor authority to sign the host city contract. And it won’t happen until Chicago 2016 Chairman Patrick Ryan “spells out the carriers, costs and conditions of the private insurance policies he’s lining up”.
Alderman Ricardo Munoz said, “there wasn’t much new information today – other than, ‘we’re putting it together’…. They asked for a little time to put together the whole package. I’m not yet convinced. We need to ensure that whatever budgets we’re looking at, that taxpayers are not on the hook”.