On January 14, 2015, in an interview on BNN News, Councilor Flaherty gave the following response to a question about unfunded transportation projects connected to Boston 2024:
“Well, clearly, we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want the money coming from the city coffers. We would like for this to be sort of a private undertaking to the best of our ability. Am I naïve to think that there won’t be some things that will be spent on, for example, infrastructure improvements and roads and bridges that are going to benefit Boston?
“What I like about this is two things. One, the City Council will have a front row seat…Just today, we announced a special committee on the Olympics in 2024 to make sure that the Council has a seat at the table and we’re the direct line of defense and the buffer to the get the questions asked and answered on behalf of the residents and the taxpayers if they feel that any other forum is not sufficient. Also though there is going to be lots of conversations around the Olympics, around how do we prepare Boston or where do we take Boston in the future, and so that’s what I get excited about—you know, those bright business minds, those philanthropic circles, bright, talented people sitting in a room talking about what’s not working and what’s wrong and how we can make Boston better—whether it’s transportation, whether it’s infrastructure upgrades....So lots of good things happening.
“And at the end of the day, what I don’t want to see happening is what happened with the DNC….The problem was that Boston was a ghost town. Everybody packed up and left. And that hurt the local businesses….Everyone—the conventioneers were coming in, and they were part of a convention package, and they were eating and dining and socializing at the hotel they were assigned to. They weren’t necessarily coming out into the community. That’s one thing that I want to make sure: that if this event is to happen, and it’s exciting... but the mechanics need to work out so that small local businesses will benefit from an infusion of travel and tourist dollars, that neighborhoods won’t be overrun, that you’ll be able to get from point A to point B—whether that’s work, whether that’s daycare, whether that’s your child’s after school program or summer program.”
During the City Council hearing on March 6, 2015, Councilor Flaherty asked Boston 2024 for accountability and leadership. He also said that Boston 2024 has a track record of being here for the city and wished them “the very best.”
Councilor Flaherty did not respond to the JP Gazette’s request for his current position on the bid as of the publication of their piece on April 10, 2015. He did not respond to No Boston 2024’s request ten days later either.
At the City Council hearing on May 18, 2015, Councilor Flaherty noted that his constituents’ top concerns were cost, venues (and the impact on their daily lives), and public safety and asked the representatives of Boston 2024 to address such issues then or at a later date.
Councilor Flaherty did not attend the June 26, 2015 City Council hearing on Olympic venues and financing.
Contact Councilor Flaherty to tell him why you oppose the Boston 2024 Olympics bid.