Tito Jackson’s Move to Subpoena Boston 2024 Blocked by Bill Linehan
Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson’s attempt to subpoena Boston 2024 for chapters 5 and 6 of the original bid book was blocked Wednesday by a procedural maneuver from City Council President Bill Linehan.
Jackson attempted to move the subpoena forward without moving it through the traditional council committee process by suspending the rules and bringing it to a vote on the floor. Linehan objected to the maneuver, citing Rule 50 of the council’s rules. The move by Linehan pushes out a vote until at least the council meeting on August 12. Rule 50 was a recent update and change to the the rules governing the city council.
Linehan allowed discussion of the subpoena to continue even though his objection affectively killed the measure until August. Several councilors expressed disagreement with the move, many expressing deep skepticism of the effort to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Boston.
Linehan’s move send the subpoena to the council’s Committee of the Whole, an entity that handles all of the council’s legal proceedings. Subpoenas were rarely issued during the Menino and Flynn years but in the last two years the council has started using its subpoena power again.
During the open discussion on the council floor Linehan reminded councilors frequently that while their comments were welcome his objection to voting on the subpoena was on procedural grounds.
At-Large Councilor Steve Murphy delivered supportive remarks on Jackson’s subpoena, declaring that there was no way he would sign off on a blank check for Boston 2024. Murphy went further and ripped the organizers as “off-putting and arrogant and condescending” during their meetings with the council.
Dorchester Councilor Frank Baker sounded a more diplomatic tone when he said that he thinks a subpoena would send the message the council is against bringing the games. Baker said that he has had positive dealings with organizers in his district.
“I am not for or against,” said Baker when talking about his stance on the games.
After the meeting Jackson said that he thinks the city council needs to understand everything about Bid 1.0. Earlier this year Boston obtained the bulk of the bid book through a public records request.
“I would have like to see this move forward today,” said Jackson.
Jackson said the people of Boston have waited too long to find out all the details of what was in the original winning bid that was submitted to the United States Olympic Committee.
“Bid 1.0 is the winning bid. That’s how we got the Olympics to come to Boston. The United States Olympic Committee accepted that bid, not 2.0 but 1.0. So it is absolutely critical that the people of the city of Boston, the Boston City Council and the taxpayers have full transparency on what that bid says,” said Jackson.
Jackson, like Murphy, spoke frankly about the powers the council has in approving any kind of financial agreement or guarantee for Boston 2024. He suggested that Boston 2024’s unwillingness to divulge chapters 5 and 6 of Bid 1.0 was a show of disrespect to Boston taxpayers and the city council.
Cambridge City Councilor Nadeem Mazen is pushing for Cambridge to issue a similar subpoena to Boston 2024.