By Nick Butler
Criticism of Boston's bid for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics is continuing following the appointment of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as a Global Ambassador paid $7,500 (£5,000/€7,000) per day for his work.
Patrick, the Democrat whose term in office ended in January eight years after he replaced Mitt Romney in 2007, has been billed as a high-profile and respected figure, who will be key in convincing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of the merits of the bid.
But, the size of his salary - which he will be paid whenever he travels to work on behalf of the Bid Committee - has been criticised, while there is also a growing view the bid is being backed by the city's politicians, despite there having been no definitive public consultation.
Current Republican State Governor Charlie Baker did not know in advance of his predecessor Patrick's appointment, it has emerged.
Following a call from Boston Mayor Martin Walsh for increased transparency, Boston 2024 also revealed salary details of other figures involved.
Chief executive Richard Davey is receiving an annual salary of $300,000 (£200,000/ €280,000) and chief operating officer Erin Murphy one of £215,000 (£142,000/ €215,000).
A further four officials are being paid between £100,000 (£67,000,000/€92,000) and £200,000 (£135,000,/€187,000) per year.
Another three are receiving sums in excess of $70,000 (£46,000/€66,000).
No Boston Olympics, the anti-bid lobby group set up in 2013, have since emphasised how they are completely volunteer-based and, they claim, have spent less since that time than "Governor Deval Patrick is paid in an hour for his work as a Global Ambassador".
Boston 2024 is also bearing a distinct resemblance to Patrick's administration, it is claimed, with Davey the former Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and Nikko Mendoza, vice-president for engagement and external affairs, the State's former director of operations.
Other figures who served under Patrick are also involved in consulting and advisory capacities.
But Boston 2024 have insisted every effort has been paid to consult with the population on different aspects of the bid, including having already held a series of community meetings.
A survey conducted last month by local radio station WBUR, which questioned 505 of Boston's 645,966-strong population between February 12 and 15, showed 46 per cent of residents do not support the Olympic bid, while 44 per cent do.
Boston was chosen in January by the United States Olympic Committee as the American contender to bid for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics after seeing off opposition from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
Rome is the only other city to have confirmed a bid, although decisions will also be made over coming months over potential attempts from the likes of Paris, Istanbul, Budapest, Baku and Doha.
The deadline for submitting bids to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is September 15 and with the host city due to be chosen at its Session in Lima in 2017.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
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