Celeb began a discussion this morning on the ever-popular topic among us living in the city–the 2016 Olympic games.
As PC pointed out, the IOC committee who will ultimately make the selection arrived in the city today to be wined and dined. Messages from famous Chicagoans like the President, Michael Jordan, and dinner with Oprah are all part of the waltzing.
PC discusses the key competing interests at stake in the games: essentially boiling down to whether or not the games will lose money and if that money would be better spent elsewhere.
I won’t repeat the information he already provided, just a supplement:
1. From what I understand, there are absolutely no plans to raise either state or county or city taxes. The funding for such a mammoth project comes from a variety of sources, but ‘in theory’ it isn’t something that comes directly from the pockets of Jane and Tom citizen. However, the caveat is that in the end both the city and the state will need to contribute large sums of money. And while taxes themselves are unlikely to be officially increased for the effort, the money spent on the games must be raised/borrowed/diverted in some way. Considering the absymal financial outlook of the current state and county budget in particular, this is the ultimate concern for everyone involved.
2. The construction involved would clearly affect the day-to-day life of many Chicagoans. However, the key issue is less the hassle and more whether that construction will be viable following the games for one thing or another. The more useful the projects remain, obviously the better. The goal is to both garner the prestige and energy of the games while concurrently developing the city in needed ways.
3. I will be working in the Mayor’s Office full-time this summer, potentially on issues related to the Olympic bid. Hopefully as things develop I’ll learn more details about the plan and its prospects.
At this point I am very much a supporter of the bid. However, I always reserve the right to be become a flip-flopper.