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Olympic Oversight Ordinances Offered Up to City Council

By Kevin Robinson in News on Sep 2, 2009 2:00PM

2009_9_olympic_logo.jpg Following a course similar to previous transparency ordinances that he's proposed, 1st Ward Alderman Manny Flores, along with Leslie Hairston (5th), Eugene Schulter (47th) and Joe Moore (49th), introduced the long awaited Olympics oversight ordinance (PDF). City Hall introduced a competing proposal that would put two aldermen on the organizing committee for the games if Chicago wins the 2016 bid. Flores's ordinance establishes three levels of oversight, including a City Council oversight committee and authority for the city's inspector general to monitor the games. The Flores ordinance also requires Olympic committee members who earn more than $50,000 to publicly disclose their financial dealings with the games.

Aside from the implications that Flores's ordinance might have on the viability of Chicago's Olympic bid, public disclosure of earnings of Olympic committee members may have a more immediate political implication, given allegations that Chicago 2016 has been less than forthcoming in how it has handled Chicago's bid process. That was intensified Tuesday when it was revealed that some members of Daley's committee have taken hefty salaries for their work. The Sun-Times revealed Tuesday that Lori Healey, president of Chicago's bid committee took a 41 percent pay raise when she left City Hall - to the tune of $250,000. Sadly, she's not the highest paid executive involved in the bid. That distinction goes to chief operating officer David Bolger, who's salary is $300,000. “Some are unacceptable. You know that. But like anything else, they were put together with private money. They compete [with] the private sector,” Mayor Daley said when asked about the numbers.

While Mayor Daley hasn't demanded 15 furlough days from bid committee members (as he's repeatedly said the President of the United States should take), he did say that perhaps the salaries need to be reconsidered."I think they have to re-evaluate that. . . . I just think so. Especially in this economy, they have to really realize [how much taxpayers are hurting]. I’d rather have more people working, quality people in good salaries.”

Flores has helpfully offered up a comparison of the two oversight ordinances before the city council. “Our ordinance is the better ordinance,” Flores said at a press conference.