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Keller @ Large: Boston Olympics Will Leave Plenty Of Unpaid Debt

BOSTON (CBS) - During his first year in office, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has proven to be a stand-up guy, responsive, forthright, and generally as candid as you can expect from a politician.

But an exception to that rule was the claim by the mayor Tuesday that if Boston is named as host city for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, "there will be no unpaid debt" left over from the multi-billion-dollar venture.

Really, mayor?

Many of us may have been born at night, but not last night.

Every political booster of an obscenely, unpredictably expensive public project makes the same phony claim – don't worry, the planning will be skillful, the budget solid, the sponsors generous. No way will hapless taxpayers be stuck with the cost overruns.

That's what they told us about the Big Dig, remember?

Don't worry, the feds are paying for most of it.

Think of that every time you get hit with another MBTA fare hike, or wind up late to work because of the T's crumbling infrastructure, thanks to decades of the Big Dig soaking up every local transportation dollar.

Speaking of the T, we're supposed to be popping the prosecco because the feds have promised to pick up 43-percent of the cost of the planned Green Line extension into Somerville, a 4.7-mile project built along existing commuter rail rights of way that is projected to cost just under $2.3 billion. Math is not my strong point, but according to my calculator, that's close to $450 million per mile.

Before the cost overruns begin.

So, sorry, Mayor Walsh. In the spirit of the soccer matches we'll be so lucky to host if we get the games here, I'm giving you a yellow card for that whopper you're telling.

Listen to Jon's commentary:

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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