No ‘blank check’ for city’s Olympic bid

Mayor Daley and the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee (COC) have begun their one-sided “dog and pony” show called community meetings. Their purpose is to buy time and hope taxpayers will forget about the financial guarantees he unilaterally made to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Switzerland – without the approval of the Chicago City Council.

I encourage residents to attend these meetings and ask serious questions about the budget and finances proposed by the city. During these meetings, I encourage taxpayers to tell the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee they do not support the city’s Olympic bid because the committee intentionally mislead the public about the clear IOC-requirement that each candidate city must sign a “Host City Contract.” The agreement guarantees that the host city is responsible for 100 percent of the financial costs of staging the 2016 Olympics (Go to and search for the Olympic Charter and read pages 74 and 76 – almost all the aldermen failed to re this).

The bid team continues to misinform taxpayers. For example, Mayor Daley and the 2016 Olympic team propose to build an 80,000 seat “temporary stadium” in Washington Park on the South Side for $400 million. The city proposes to reduce the stadium to a permanent 10,000 seat outdoor theater after the games are over, with no serious plan for utilization after the games. Compare the new stadium-projected cost to the city’s initial year 2000 renovation budget of $350 million for Soldier Field. Per an article from, the final cost of renovating Soldier Field was $660 million in 2003 – nearly double the original estimate. Based on this fact, how can the city build a new stadium for less than what it cost the city in 2003 to renovate an existing stadium?

Another question to ask the Chicago 2016 committee is why is its’ revenue estimate of $3 billion (listed as “optimistic” by the IOC) double than that of the Tokyo 2016 estimate of $1.517 billion? Both estimates are listed in U.S. dollars.

Ask the Chicago 2016 group: why haven’t private businesses – which will make a lot of money – or a private developer signed on up front to guarantee the cost of the 2016 Olympic bid if it is such a great financial benefit for Chicago?

Madrid 2016 lists its committed sponsors on its Web site. Remember to ask any member of the Chicago 2016 committee if they would issue a blank check from their personal bank account to any taxpayers in attendance. Then observe their response.

Dwayne Truss

Stay encouraged

I’m a young woman that met Dora (Sivels) at my school, Ms. Roberts Academy [Never take life for granted, Siedah Sivels, May 8]. Dora comes there to get her hair done. I read all the articles and I just wanted to say, wow, what an awesome young woman.

And I want to encourage her parents and family, and say that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And rejoice in knowing that Siedah is healed and with her father – where we all are trying to go.

Stay strong and know that God is with you, just like he was when Jesus was on the cross. God was right there with his son dying on the cross. He was, and is, with Siedah; and he is with you all. God Bless.

Kres’tel Ashford
Submitted at

Editor’s note: Siedah Sivels died on March 30, 2008 after battling a rare form of cancer for four years. At the request of her parents, Dora and Gerald, we published Siedah’s testimony in our May 8, 2008 issue).

City needs to end corruption

I don’t have faith in the system – the legal system or the political system [Ike Carothers sold us out …and he’s a snitch too, Arlene Jones, July 4].

I was very upset with how the governor of the State of Illinois was treated before he was ever tried for any crime. Ald. Ike Carothers is innocent until proven guilty. I hope and pray that this city stop the corruption, because if they don’t, this city will reap what it has sown.

Mary Hartsfield
Submitted at


• 29th Ward meeting concerning the 2016 Olympics
• 6:30 p.m., Wed. July 22
• Columbus Park Refectory (Menard & Jackson)