Council Votes Not To Cooperate With Boston Olympic Bid

Council Votes Not To Cooperate With Boston Olympic Bid

The Cambridge City Council voted to withhold cooperation with Boston 2024's Olympic Planning

  • Posted on: 9 December 2014
  • By: stannenb

The Cambridge City Council voted Monday evening not to cooperate with the process the seeks to bring the Olympics to the Boston area in 2024.

Debating a Policy Order offered by Councilors Leland Cheung and Craig Kelley, which would have withheld Cambridge's support for an Olympic bid until there was a public process, Councilor Timothy Toomey called the idea of hosting the Olympics "insane", offered a substitute instructing the City not to expend time and resources on Olympic planning. Referencing a discussion of priorities the Council had earlier in the evening, Toomey didn't see how we could ask the City to focus on its own priorities while a decade-long Olympic plan took shape.

Vice Mayor Dennis Benzan said that he attended a private Olympic planning breakfast at MIT and that he was one of five people of color in the room. He said he mainly agreed with a NeighborMedia story outlining five problems with hosting the Olympics and that the planning committee had much work to do with respect to inclusiveness and public participation. Cambridge, he said, could start those discussions. Mayor David Maher said the that "volunteers" planning a Boston Olympic bid were offering just a skeleton plan, with much opportunity for it to be shaped over the next decade. Maher said that there was an offer of substantial affordable housing for Boston and that some of that might, conceivably, be located in Cambridge. Asking if that was just a matter of the Olympics villages being made available after the games, Toomey termed that offer "insulting", saying that the Olympic games had nothing positive to offer the City.

Toomey's substitute motion passed by a vote of 6-2, with Councilor Marc McGovern and Mayor Maher voting no, and Councilor Benzan voting present.

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