Aldermen Secretly Meet With 2016 Officials

Meeting inexplicably held sooner, rather than later

By Phil Rogers and BJ Lutz
|  Tuesday, Jul 21, 2009  |  Updated 3:58 PM CDT
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Chicago Presents Itself

AP

Outside the conference room, committee members checked out Soldier Field on Sunday.

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Daley: "I've Not Signed Anything"

Mayor Daley sounds off, stressing that no agreement was signed in Switzerland that would put Chicago taxpayers on the hook for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Aldermen, Chicago 2016 Meet Again Behind Closed Doors

Day two of closed-door meetings are an attempt to calm a City Council nervous about paying for the Olympic bid.
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A secret meeting was held Wednesday between Chicago aldermen and the city's Olympic bid leaders in an efford to calm the storm that brewed last week over revelations that taxpayers would be on the hook should the 2016 Games be awarded to Chicago and subsequently lose money.

Just two days ago, Chicago 2016 Chairman Patrick Ryan said that he would not be prepared to go in front of the City Council to explain financial guarantees for at least 60 days

He said that he and his team would "look like dummies" if they tried to sell the council on the full Olympic agreement right now.

But Mayor Richard Daley, who is in the Middle East, ordered the meeting to take place immediately to try and calm the nerves of jittery alderman.

"I think one of the things that came out of it that was informative is the fact that the mayor did not sign any agreement," said Ald. George Cardenas (12th).  "I think he committed that the city would have full guarantees in his financial scheme, and it's very important for people to understand that that's what happened."

"The overwhelming, overwhelming majority of the people in my ward, and just as I think the people in the 12th ward, feel that we want to have the Olympics here, but we want full disclosure.  We want transparency.  We want to know how much we're responsible for here," Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd).

Ald. Joe Moore said Tuesday night  -- at roughly the same time a large party was held on North Ave. Beach to showcase the bid -- that having the meeting in two months would be "totally unacceptable" and predicted that some alderman who supported the bid would begin to peel away if they didn't get more information on the bid now.

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