City Councilor Tito Jackson called out Boston 2024 for withholding the financial plans of Olympic bid 1.0. Today, Jackson filed an order for subpoena after numerous ignored requests to obtain the full un-redacted version of the proposal.
Boston 2024 CEO, Richard Davey told Jackson in an email that these documents were redacted in order to “preserve the confidentiality of information provided by the United States Olympic Committee and to protect to privacy interests of Boston 2024’s donors.”
But Jackson wasn’t buying it.
“It is the lack of responsibility and accountability that led me to demand full and complete transparency of chapters five and six, which are entitled political support and bid budget,” Jackson said.
Chapters five and six of the original blueprint detailed the bid’s budget and disclosed how Boston 2024 would gain the support needed from officials. However, these documents were redacted when released. Since the submission of these plans, city officials like Jackson have repeatedly demanded a full un-redacted version of the 1.0 bid book in the interest of transparency.
“Would you do a business deal without all available financial information? No. So why are you asking the citizens of Boston and the Boston City Council to go forward without complete disclosure,” Jackson said.
Jackson said that he believes the plans involved in the bid have a direct effect on the majority of Boston citizens, and that for this reason the information should be publically accessible.
“Again this is about complete disclosure and this will affect the future of all neighborhoods in Boston and around Boston and I welcome all those who want to join us in this fight for disclosure?” Jackson said.
Boston city officials said that they have always fought for transparency and disclosure as a top priority given the public concern over taxpayer dollars and the potential of having to foot the bill for the Games.
After over 30 budget hearings, the city approved an annual budget of $2.8 billion dollars for fiscal year 2016. Boston 2024 proposes a budget almost triple that — more than $14 billion dollars — and wants it approved without full disclosure of financial documents.
“I am disappointed that Boston 2024, a group of individuals who no one has elected would make financial promises, commitments and speculations on behalf of the city of Boston and have the audacity to tell us that it is none of our business, look at bid 2.0 because that is the most current,” Jackson said.
While the current bid, version 2.0 does outline current budget projections and anticipated costs it fails to address a crucial question for residents: “Will tax-payer dollars end up paying for this?”
“We deserve to know how these promises will affect Boston today and tomorrow. We are Boston. To be clear, I am not anti-Olympics. I’m simply pro-Boston,” Jackson said. “We cannot afford to have Olympic overruns that cost us our future investment in educating our youth, housing, economic development or public safety.”