Boston city councilor demands release of full Olympic bid
By Evan Lips | July 20, 2015, 19:30 EST
BOSTON – Demanding “full and complete transparency” from officials representing the city’s bid to land the 2024 Summer Olympics, Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson on Monday filed an order for a subpoena with the city clerk’s office seeking the complete version of Boston 2024’s 1.0 bid proposal. WATCH VIDEO HERE.
Jackson filed his subpoena in response to a letter he received Friday from Boston 2024 CEO Richard Davey declining Jackson’s informal request for information.
“The important part of the winning bid is the financials,” Jackson said during a Monday morning press conference held outside City Hall.
“No intelligent business person would do a business deal without all available financial information. Why are you asking the citizens of Boston to go forward without complete disclosure?”
Boston 2024 has to date refused to release two chapters from the 1.0 bid book. In his letter to Jackson on Friday, Davey claimed that these sections are being withheld “to preserve the confidentiality of information provided by the United States Olympic Committee and to protect the privacy interests of Boston 2024’s donors.”
Jackson blasted the organizers, saying he was “surprised at the audacity” of Boston 2024 organizers to deny his request.
“Sorry, Boston 2024, but you don’t get to tell our (legislative) body, our city or our constituents what to do, when to do it and how,” Jackson said. “As a Boston city councilor I have a right to see any document that makes a financial commitment on behalf of the city of Boston. Promises were made to the United States Olympic Committee on behalf of the taxpayers without the full vetting and voice of the people of the city of Boston.”
Jackson stressed that Boston 2024’s 1.0 proposal represented the “winning bid,” the one that secured the final backing of the United States Olympic Commission. In his letter, Davey deflected attention from the original bid, and pointed instead to the second draft of the document, posted on Boston 2024’s website, which Davey claimed provides “accurate and up-to-date data about budget projections and anticipated costs.”
In his Monday press conference, Councilor Jackson maintained that he’s not against the games.
“To be clear, I am not anti-Olympics; I am simply pro-Boston,” Jackson said. “You (Boston 2024) have disappointed, disregarded and disrespected all of the efforts to acquire the full winning bid.”
Jackson is not the first elected official to call for the release of the entire 1.0 bid book. Cambridge City Councilor Nadeem Mazen on Sunday uploaded a video to his YouTube account in which he called for his colleagues to also approve a subpoena he is filing.
“I’d like to bring back this very important tool for transparency that cities have, to actually bring forward documents as an authority in order to understand what is being explained and what is being done, whether things are just or whether they are not,” Mazen said. “What are the missing chapters from the bid book in version one and how did those chapters change from the 2.0 book?”
Jackson’s subpoena calls for Davey to appear before the City Council Special Committee on the 2024 Olympics on Aug. 13. In order to proceed, Jackson needs a majority vote from his fellow city councilors.
Jackson’s call for increased transparency comes just days before Thursday’s Olympic debate, an event hosted by FOX25 and the Boston Globe. The hour-long debate will begin at 8 p.m.
Boston City Council meets Wednesday at 12 p.m., but at deadline it remained unclear whether Jackson’s subpoena proposal will be part of the Wednesday agenda. Jackson said scheduling is at the discretion of City Council President Bill Linehan.
“I would hope we expedite this process in order to move it forward,” Jackson said. “You cannot make an intelligent decision with what you don’t know. What was promised to the USOC in order to win the bid?”
Chris Dempsey of No Boston Olympics, a nonprofit group that is opposed to Boston hosting the summer games, applauded Jackson’s efforts.
“Tito Jackson is showing real leadership,” said Dempsey, a Brookline resident who serves as co-chairman of the organization’s volunteer committee. “The bid was submitted on behalf of the city. What exactly is Boston 2024 trying to hide?”
At deadline, Boston 2024 organizers had not returned the NewBostonPost’s request for comment.
Contact Evan Lips at: [email protected] or @evanmlips on Twitter