2002-11-09 / Sports

When Will People Be Heard On The 2012 Olympics?

By Elio Velez

By Elio Velez

When did Mayor Bloomberg and New York City decide for the citizens of this great metropolis about the Olympics? Was there a referendum on the ballot this past Election Day that I missed? Was it in small letters? Was the message hidden? Did it tell the voters to vote for NYC to enter or not enter the race for the 2012 Olympics?

Of course not.

The regular folk, the taxpayer, John Q. Citizen, were never going to fully partake in Mayor Bloomberg and Daniel Doctoroff’s vision of a New York Summer Olympics. If there were a slight bit of hesitation, then the plan would never have gotten out of the ground. When the Olympic announcement was made, Bloomberg had his rich friends, Billy Crystal and others celebrated as if they won.

Here is what Bloomberg says will happen with the future costs:

The looming costs of building facilities over the next decade just to prepare for the 17-day event summer events is rumored at 7 billion dollars for facilities before the renovation of roads and highways and the extension of the #7 subway line.

Bloomberg says that bonds and private money will pay for most of the freight, no tax dollars will be paid to conduct the event and there will be profits during and after the event.

Those figures are of course hogwash.

When in the last 25 years has New York City ever undergone a major works project that would undergo for the Olympics? And when have most of those projects ever been completed within the budget or under the budget? Except for the return of subway service on the #1 and 9 trains under the World Trade Center site in September, not much else was completed, yet even started.

Remember Westway, Technodrome, the JFK subway-airport link and the Second Avenue Subway? Didn’t happen.

And where, oh where, is this money coming from?

The city faces a $6 billion budget. The state is one-upping the city’s debt with a $10 billion dollar hole, have so many problems ahead in the next few years. Can pole-vaulting for the gold be more important than vaulting over the huge budget? Is Bloomberg going to contribute his wealth to the event?

In the end, it will be taxpayers that will pay for the most likely real cost of $14 billion dollars: this would be after all the inconvenience of building, rebuilding, renovation, tearing up roads and streets, paying off construction companies, settling lawsuits, potential lawsuits and paying off International Olympic Committee members.

After 30 people got arrested for corruption in the Utah Winter Olympics, do you believe the IOC’s intention that there will be no greasing of ands or stuffing pockets this time around?

Is my concern or actual disgust at the IOC actually beginning to show in this piece? Oh you betcha.

This quote is on the nyc2012.com website from former Mayor Fiorello Laguardia:

"Sometimes I see the City of Tomorrow, with marvelous parks and buildings, finer hospitals, safer and more beautiful streets, better schools, more playgrounds, more swimming pools. It will be a reality some day"

If the main priority is for sacrificing for a few years to become a healthier and profitable city in the future, then there is the logical solution to provide for those necessities of city life. But if the Olympics become the ideal option by Bloomberg to take the city out of the hole, and it fails, then Bloomberg may be sacrificing his second run for Mayor in 2006 and the city’s future with it.

Until next time, Peace.


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