Ken Bullock is now a member of an elite group of 2002 Winter Games decisionmakers after a surprise unanimous vote by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee board of trustees Thursday.
Bullock, who represents the Utah League of Cities and Towns on the board, and Bill Stapleton, the co-chairman of the Athletes' Advisory Council to the U.S. Olympic Committee, were both named to board's executive committee.The vote came after SLOC Chief Executive Office Frank Joklik asked that both nominations be accepted without dissent because the issue has become a distraction to organizers.
Wednesday, legislative and local government leaders held a press conference to remind Olympic organizers the 1998 Legislature passed a resolution endorsing the appointment of a league representative to the executive committee.
Bullock, the executive director of the league, has campaigned for the appointment for more than a year. He is considered a troublemaker by some trustees, because he often questions actions by Olympic organizers.
Trustees also asked that board bylaws be amended so any member providing the press with information deemed confidential could be dismissed from the board.
Garff said there have been problems with confidentiality. A January Deseret News article describing the organizing committee's planned presentation during the closing ceremonies of the 1998 Winter Games was cited. Typically the closing ceremony presentation is kept secret until the actual event.
The amendment to the bylaws will be voted on at the next trustees meeting, now scheduled for July. Joklik told the board a similar policy is already in place for the staff.
Olympic trustees also spent Thursday morning discussing how much more power they should turn over to the executive committee, made up of 11 business and political leaders as well as representatives of the USOC and International Olympic Committee.
At issue is how much involvement the full board will have in many of the decisions that need to be made by the largely privately funded organizing committee to put on the $1 billion-plus event.
In a letter to trustees, Chairman Bob Garff said "the amount of activity and information associated with the organizing efforts often overwhelm our board meetings." The full board meets quarterly; the executive committee, monthly.
But no decision was made Thursday morning during the two hours set aside for considering a restructuring of the organizing committee board of trustees outlined by Garff.
Two new members, developer John Price and wheelchair athlete Mike Schlappi, were named Wednesday to the SLOC board of trustees by Gov. Mike Leavitt and Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini.
Price, head of JP Realty Inc. and a member of various community groups including the University of Utah board of trustees, replaces longtime trustee Arlen Crouch. Crouch is on a mission for the LDS Church.
Schlappi, director of attitude therapy for Intermountain Health Care, fills the remaining athlete spot on the board. He is a two-time gold medalist in wheelchair basketball, having competed in the 1988, 1992 and 1996 Paralympics.
The governor and the mayor also reappointed local business leaders James Beardall, Spence Eccles and Earl Holding, and athlete Henry Marsh. Holding's reappointment was opposed by a coalition of advocates for disadvanaged Utahns.
The coalition said Holding should not continue to serve because he has a conflict of interest. SLOC is paying millions of dollars to use Holding's Snowbasin ski resort and Little America hotel downtown during the Games.