State to seek new consultant for Boston 2024

The big question is, who's paying for that consultant?

This artist's rendering released Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 by the Boston 2024 planning committee shows a proposed pedestrian boulevard along a channel running to a temporary Olympic stadium in Boston, if the city is awarded the Summer Olympic games in 2024. Boston goes up against potential bids from Rome, Paris, Germany and South Africa. The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to make its decision in 2017. (AP Photo/Boston 2024)

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Deval Patrick has been hired as a consultant for Boston 2024’s campaign to host the summer Olympics, but the state wants to hire a consultant of their own.

Let the games begin in Boston, is what one organization would like to see in the summer of 2024. But if the city of Boston was selected host city, before organizers break ground on any Olympic-sized venues, lawmakers have a lot of questions.

Governor Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg want to hire an independent consultant to navigate the process.

The big question is, who’s paying for that consultant? The lawmakers admit it’s going to cost some money up front, but they say it’s worth it if it’ll save taxpayers from footing the bill for a whole lot more later on.

Political analyst Tony Cignoli told 22News, “Especially for folks this side of Worcester, western Massachusetts, we’re wondering what’s in it for us? We’re being told no tax dollars will be expended on this, but that seems a reach when you’re talking several billion dollars of infrastructure needed to make these Boston Olympics happen.”

Massachusetts taxpayers told 22News the proposed project reminds them of the Big Dig, when certain promises were made that weren’t necessarily kept. A consultant could make things more transparent.

Michael Heckley of Chicopee said, “I really think a consultant is the way to go. I think you have to really look at the big picture. Even though there’s a fee for the consultant itself, I think it’d be quite small in comparison to what the end result might very well be. It has to be done the right way.”

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