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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Olympics loss forces Chicago to rethink city plans

I know the national news seems to this was a slap in the face to President Obama. They use the 1st round defeat of Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics to show that Obama over reached and that he isn't able to even talk to these people at the IOC to let Chicago host the games. The IOC used that moment to tell Obama that the charm offensive didn't work. Even worse one IOC member complained that it took 45 minutes to see Michelle Obama and that might have hurt the Chicago 2016 bid. Unfair, well I think so but meh.

The slap in the face however really goes to Mayor Daley. That's what this AP article discusses. I saw at least one article that showed that even Mayor Daley, many may consider the benevolent dictator of Chicago, can be told no. Telling Daley NO is certainly a difficult task for the city of Chicago on many issues including taxpayer money for the Olympics. That's perhaps one reason any city opposition to the games really heated up.
Chicago's dream of an Olympics-sized stimulus was dashed when the 2016 Summer Games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro, and the loss amounts to more than a bruised ego for the nation's third-largest city.

Officials can no longer trumpet the $13.7 billion citywide economic impact local Olympics organizers estimated would come of games-related jobs, construction, tourism and transportation. They'll also have no excuse for distraction in a city grappling with a mounting deficit and violence that has led to dozens of deaths of city teens each year.

The loss marked a stunning defeat for Mayor Richard M. Daley, who spent three years working to sell Chicago residents on the games, often highlighting job creation and a financial influx that would help the city emerge from a recessional slump.

"I just know so many construction workers who thought their next seven years were going to be full of work," said Jane Zefran, 63, a semi-retired Chicago resident. "Now, heavens only knows what will happen. It's such a shame."

People around town seem doubtful the loss will scar Daley as he mulls whether to seek a seventh term in 2011—at which point he will have 22 years in office and become Chicago's longest-serving mayor.

"I don't think he will be looked at like a loser," said Angela Byrd, 40, a teacher's assistant from Chicago.

Still, a recent Chicago Tribune/WGN poll showed Daley's approval rating had sunk to 35 percent in part because of skepticism over the Olympics and an unpopular deal to lease city parking meters to a private contractor. And the mayor was in Copenhagen as an unwelcome spotlight again shone on his city after a 16-year-old honors student was beaten to death while walking to a bus stop after school.
Well look, I don't consider this a big loss. Daley expounded more effort onto this instead of tackling the many issues currently affecting Chicago. I'm not disappointed that we won't get the games this year, however, I hope that Chicago could work towards the games in the future. Chicago should once again have an Olympic dream, but not at the behest of City Hall.

Now that this monkey is off the back City Hall can look at the issue of crime, focus on upgrading the transit system, and then make smarter deals for the benefit of the city!

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