Boston 2024: Rather Shady
While quite a few people are unhappy about Boston’s Olympic bid for 2024, the organization behind the Olympic movement didn’t exactly help matters this past week in regards to how they went about hiring Deval Patrick as their global ambassador.
Deval Patrick’s $7,500-a-day paycheck with Boston 2024 earned a lot of side glances on Tuesday, the information accompanied with other knowledge about employee pay. Six Boston 2024 staffers are making $100,000+ per year, which, as a private group, is their prerogative. As the Globe reports, the issue originated when Boston 2024 did not originally disclose how much Patrick would make when he was appointed ambassador. This data was released by request of Marty Walsh “as a testament to the transparency and openness of this process.”
But naturally, Boston 2024 chairman John Fish acknowledged the organization’s hellish work in communicating to the Globe. Apparently both Governor Charlier Baker and Mayor Walsh were blindsided by the news of Patrick’s role and salary, learning of this information via the media. Fish said:
“I spoke with the governor. I apologized to him,” said Fish, who supported Baker during the campaign. “Unfortunately, these things do happen. I make no excuses.”
“Walsh was caught off guard,” Fish said. “For that, I apologized.”
Yes, well, this may be a rare moment of realness from Fish on behalf of Boston 2024, but aspects within the organization that extend beyond this salary reveal are still vague to some.
Prior to this week, city councilors already raised concerns about the games putting weight on taxpayers and possibly running over budget, mostly drawing attention to Boston 2024’s “lack of transparency” when developing plans in general. U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano admits he’s also “independently skeptical” about the organization’s “misleading” and “disingenuous” efforts in spending funds on MBTA construction.
So the Globe poses the “do you mind?” question to Fish in terms of his private group making plans with public space. His response:
“I respect that. I absolutely respect that,” Fish said. “I want to approach it with a sense of humility.”
Right. So, we’ll see.