That Boston 2024 chose to sort-of apologize for its disrespectful charade of a Franklin Park meeting, not locally, but in a friendly Boston Globe article is typical of its cluelessness. That Boston 2024 has done nothing to change its process—if anything, it has become even more secretive—is no surprise. Capping this is Boston 2024 Chairman John Fish’s comment, revealed by the Globe’s Joan Vennochi, that anyone who doubts the Games’ benefits to Franklin Park “should have your head examined”—a comment that locals are unlikely to forgive or forget.
As we have previously warned, these people will never give Franklin Park or Jamaica Plain the answers they seek and deserve—certainly not until it is far too late.
It is time for JP to stop waiting on Boston 2024 and to start telling it what to do instead. JP is fully capable of coming up with its own answers to Olympics questions.
For example, Franklin Park could provide a list of improvements it demands, long-term funding it needs, and the percentage of Olympics TV gross revenue it deserves for giving up a public resource for a year. Neighboring residents could list what types of security they are willing, and unwilling, to live with.
We suspect that Boston 2024 would balk and confess that it cannot commit to any transparency or details. That is because its true master is the International Olympics Committee, a scurrilous group that demands secrecy and that makes the final venue decisions itself according to its own competition rules—not according to what locals want. Indeed, right now, with the IOC’s blessing and command, and in the face of local protests, Rio is destroying a nature preserve for an Olympics golf course and South Korea is destroying an ancient forest for an Olympics ski slope.
If Boston 2024 cannot commit to local needs because it is instead committed to a secretive, destructive foreign organization, we believe that is a sufficient answer to every local question about the merits of hosting the Olympics.
But park-area neighborhoods and advocates have nothing to lose by setting their own Olympics agenda. Boston 2024 keeps saying it wants input, then refuses to provide the detail many people find necessary for a response. It’s time to turn this farce around. The question should not be whether JP and Franklin Park will say yes to the Olympics; the question should be whether the Olympics will say yes to JP and Franklin Park.