June 23, 2009

Our Aldermen Gave Daley a Blank Check for Olympics

Most people's understanding of events last week is that Mayor Daley announced his intention to sign an agreement giving a blank check to the International Olympic Committee and making Chicago taxpayers liable for all costs. But before that, our legislative representatives gave Daley a blank check.
Alderman George Cardenas (12th): "We signed a $500M guarantee. We did that in 2007. Has anyone looked at the ordinance and the guarantee? The language of the ordinance clearly indicates that the Mayor has the prerogative to engage in further negotiations with other authorities. It gives him the power to make decisions based on this endeavor. We gave him that power, the Council did. The policy, it starts with the Council."
In the proud tradition of the Chicago City Council, together let us after the fact read the ordinance passed March 14, 2007:
AUTHORIZATION FOR EXECUTION OF AGREEMENTS WITH VARIOUS PRIVATE AND MUNICIPAL ENTITIES IN CONJUNCTION WITH CITY OF CHICAGO'S BID APPLICATION TO HOST 2016 OLYMPICS

Be It Ordained by the City Council of the City of Chicago:

SECTION 2. The City Council hereby authorizes the Mayor of the City (the "Mayor"), or the Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development, as the Mayor's designated representative ("Commissioner"), to execute and deliver, and the City Clerk to attest to, the following undertakings, agreements and documents on behalf of the City: ... (h) such further undertakings, agreements and documents as may be necessary or appropriate to the City's submission and implementation of its bid for the Olympic Games at the domestic and international levels. With respect to the Joinder Agreement, the City shall appropriate amounts sufficient to pay the obligations of the City pursuant to the Joinder Agreement (if any), and the City hereby covenants to take timely action as required by law to carry out the appropriation provisions of this sentence. All documents referred to in this Section 2 shall be subject to the review and approval of the Corporation Counsel [conspicuously absent: City Council]. Subject to the express limiting terms and conditions of this ordinance, it is the intent of the City Council that the grant of authority contained in the immediately preceding three (3) sentences shall be broadly construed to permit the Mayor and the Commissioner to take all necessary or appropriate actions to complete and prosecute the City's bid submission and the implementation thereof without further City Council action or approval, and, if the City is selected by the U.S.O.C. as the United States host city candidate, and if the City is subsequently selected by the LO.C as the host city, to execute such documents as may be necessary or appropriate to confirm such acceptances, time being of the essence.

SECTION 3. The City Council, in confirmation of its prior resolution, dated September 13, 2006, hereby again ... confirms that the City will take all necessary measures in order for the City to fulfill its obligations under the agreements attached to this ordinance and otherwise undertaken by the City with respect to the Olympic Games;

City Of Chicago Olympic Commitments Agreement

Section 3.

City Olympic Commitments.

As a material inducement to the U.S.O.C. 's consideration of the City's host city bid application, and intending to be bound hereby, the City covenants and agrees for the benefit of the U. S. O. C as follows ...the City understands that all representations, warranties and covenants made by the City in this Agreement and in the City's other bid documents, together with any other written commitments made by the City or the Bid Committee to the U.S.O.C. or to the LO.C shall be binding upon the City.

Joinder Undertaking (2016 Olympic Games).

The Bid Committee has agreed that in the event that the U.S.O.C selects the City as the U.S. Applicant City, the Bid Committee (which will then be referred to as the "Applicant Committee") shall enter into the Applicant Committee Agreement with the U.S.O.C. at the time ofsuch selection, and the Joint Marketing Agreement and the Games Operating Agreement with the U.S.O.C. when so directed by the U.S.O.C, and the Joint Marketing Programme Agreement with the U.S.O.C. and the I.O.C. when so directed by the U.S.O.C, and that in the event that the U.S.O.C. selects the City as the Applicant City and the I.O.C. and I.P.C. award the Games to the City, the Applicant Committee shall become, or cause to be formed, the O.C.O.G., and shall cause the O.C.O.G. to enter into the Host City Agreement when so directed by the U.S.O.C.
And the vote?
Yeas — Aldermen Flores, Haithcock, Hairston, Lyle, Beavers, Harris, Beale, Pope, Balcer, Cardenas, Olivo, Burke, T. Thomas, L. Thomas, Lane, Rugai, Murioz, ZaLewski, Chandler, Solis, Ocasio, Burnett, E. Smith, Carothers, Reboyras, Suarez, Matlak, Mell, Austin, Colon, Banks, Mitts, Allen, Laurino, O'Connor, Doherty, Natarus, Daley, Tunney, Levar, Shiller, Schulter, M. Smith, Moore, Stone — 45.

Nays — Aldermen Tillman, Preckwinkle, Coleman, Troutman, Brookins — 5.
Of course, in the proud tradition of the Chicago City Council, they probably didn't read it. They don't have the staff. They don't have the time.

Keep this list in mind as you hear outrage from our aldermen. A further hearing on this latest agreement is a pure pageant, and the out come is a foregone conclusion.


Late Update

And back on September 13, 2006:
EXPRESSION OF SUPPORT FOR OLYMPIC CHARTER PRINCIPLES CODES OF ETHICS AND PLEDGE OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION EFFORTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROPOSAL TO HOST 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES

WHEREAS. In connection with its proposal, the City must demonstrate the support and cooperation of the City and various other ovemmental bodies and other entities as a condition to the consideration of its proposal...

Be It Resolved, That we, the Mayor and members of the City Council of the City of Chicago, assembled this thirteenth day of September, 2006, do hereby express the City of Chicago's support of the spirit, principles and ideals embodied in the Olympic Charter and the development of community embodied in the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games, and that in furtherance of this support we hereby guarantee the City's respect of the Olympic Charter, and that the City will take all necessary measures in order for the City to fulfill completely the obligations it will undertake;
And the vote? Unanimous.
Yeas — Aldermen Haithcock, Tillman, Preckwinkle, Hairston, Lyle, Beavers, Stroger, Beale, Pope, Balcer, Cardenas, Olivo, Burke, T. Thomas, Coleman, L. Thomas, Murphy, Rugai, Troutman, Brookins, Munoz, Zalewski, Chandler, Solis, Ocasio, Burnett, E. Smith, Carothers, Reboyras, Suarez, Matlak, Mell, Austin, Colon, Banks, Mitts, Alien, Laurino, O'Connor, Doherty, Natarus, Daley, Tunney, Levar, Shiller, Schulter, M. Smith, Moore, Stone - 49.

Nays — None.

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