It was four against two as the 2016 Committee sent four senior members of their staff to squared off against No Games organizer Tom Tresser and Friends of the Parks President Erma Tranter at the Lake View Citizens’ Council Olympic forum Monday night. Tranter presented a number of thorny issues about the bid’s reliance on public park land to the packed house of over 200. She urged the 2016 Committee to move the main stadium venue out of Washington Park and to move the tennis venue north, away from the proposed site adjacent to the Jarvis Bird Sanctuary. Tresser hammered home No Games position that the city is not in a position to deliver the games because (1) we’re broke and have much more pressing needs that should be addressed today, not seven years from now; (2) we’re corrupt and incompetent and will bungle the games (adding further debt to the city); (3) our infrastructure is crumbling and needs repairs and rebuilding and can’t handle the added burden of millions of Olympic visitors; and (4) the people of Chicago DO NOT support the bid when they realize how many billions they will have to pay for it.
Many attendees came to the mike to pepper the 2016 reps with questions on use of the parks, construction schedules, traffic, displacement, jobs and risks to taxpayers. Only one person spoke is favor of the games.
The Chicago Tribune’s coverage was headlined “Olympic bid on hot seat.” Click here for the Fox News coverage. Coverage from the Provocateur blog. Story from Chi-Town Daily News. ABC News covers forums north and south.