The Chicago Sun Times reports Chicago 2016 officials will be holding a series of public meetings around the city due to the erosion of public support for the Chicago’s 2016 bid following the city’s open-ended financial guarantee.
Public meetings are being scheduled so that residents in the city’s 50 wards can meet with the Chicago 2016 bid team, aldermen and Olympic athletes, to talk about the city’s bid.
According to the Sun Times a Chicago 2016 official dismissed the idea that this was damage control in the wake of Chicago Mayor’s Richard Daley’s surprise announcement that he would sign an Olympic host city contract that would reportedly leave taxpayers on the hook for any losses.
Kurt Summers, chief of staff for Chicago 2016, said this is about keeping the public informed with just 90 days before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) votes for a host city.
Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, who has accused Chicago 2016 Chairman Pat Ryan of “poisoning the well” with elected officials and their constituents by concealing the need to sign the host city contract, welcomed the 50-ward outreach tour in hopes it could stem the erosion of public support for the Games.
Preckwinkle said, “as a result of the mayor’s commitment in Lausanne, a number of us are hearing from our constituents who want to know exactly what that means. One way to deal with those concerns – an appropriate way – is to have public meetings. I’m pleased they’re going to get out in the neighbourhoods. This is a good beginning”.