Olympics preparations major issue for board of trustees

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    By KIMBERLY NIELSEN

    The Management Committee and Board of Trustees met together Thursday morning at the Capitol to discuss various issues of concern for the 2002 Olympics and Paralympics.

    One of the leading topics to be discussed was a letter of appeal by Dr. George Van Komen, Chairman of the Alcohol Policy Coalition, requesting a copy of Anheuser-Busch’s sponsorship agreement.

    Van Komen is concerned with the public health and safety of Utah citizens, especially the youth, if large amounts of alcohol are available and consumed.

    “I feel that Utah’s citizens have a right to know what effect, if any, the potential Anheuser-Busch 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic sponsorship had on these changes that occurred in Utah’s alcohol advertising law in 1996,” said Van Komen in a letter to Kelly Flint of the Management Committee.

    Utah’s alcohol advertising laws were changed when a lawsuit was filed against the state in August of 1996 using a Supreme Court opinion regarding store windows that display liquor prices.

    There was little opposition from the authorities in changing this law. Lawyers from Anheuser-Busch attended a hearing in 1996 and testified in favor of changing Utah’s alcohol advertising laws.

    The Salt Lake Olympic Committee denied Van Komen’s request for the Anheuser-Busch sponsorship agreement.

    “We believe it is not appropriate to make this contract public,” said Chairman Robert Garff. “The contract is confidential.”

    Another issue discussed was the financial aspect of the Olympics. SLOC’s President and CEO Mitt Romney was pleased to report that everything is on schedule.

    “Our finance effort is world class,” said Romney.

    He gave thanks to all those in the related areas of the games and the great work that is going on.

    “The level of intensity has climbed a few notches over the past few weeks,” said Romney.

    Swiftly arriving game dates and testing preparations are a few reasons for the increase in work.

    “Our plans look good, but we don’t know until the games begin. We only have the plans on paper,” said Romney.

    The meeting continued with the hot topic of retaining the law firm Ray, Quinney, & Nebeker.

    The law firm is accused of not keeping the records of minutes during an Olympic Bid meeting.

    James S. Jardine represented the firm and reassured to the Board that there are no missing minutes.

    “Our firm kept and maintained the minutes which they were required,” said Jardine. “While we are not happy that files we intended to keep were in fact destroyed, and have taken steps to ensure that this cannot happen again, these were not Bid Committee or SLOC files.”

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