An admirable about-face was conducted last week by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, which reversed an earlier inclination to threaten board members with removal for disclosing confidential information.
The original action - proposed by the executive committee as a change to SLOC's bylaws - rightfully drew criticism for reinforcing a perceived lack of openness. In addition, the weighty threat was unnecessary since the organizing committee's rules already allow removal of trustees for cause. The executive committee therefore tabled the proposal Thursday.That wise move was accompanied by news that tickets for all events will be made available to Utahns and that Frank Joklik will earn $280,000 annually as SLOC president and chief executive officer, $45,000 less than his embattled predecessor, Tom Welch.
That is reasonable compensation for such a position, below market rate according to studies conducted by benefits consulting firm Hay Management Consultants and other independent consultants. They said a comparable position, based upon earnings of chief executive officers of past Olympic organizing committees and other similar entities, would pay in the $400,000 annual range.
Joklik's compensation will likely increase between now and 2002 - not unreasonable - and he may receive a bonus tied to the ultimate financial success of the 2002 Winter Games. There is nothing unsettling about that rather common business practice if he and SLOC bring home the gold.
Information concerning tickets also is encouraging, since as many Utahns as possible should be allowed to attend Olympic events. An Aug. 31 daylong meeting will be open to the public to iron out ticket details. Gov. Mike Leavitt and the Utah League of Cities and Towns will participate in the session, intended to encourage community involvement in the Games.
That involvement is a worthy objective and the meeting a good step toward its facilitation. A continuation of this latest SLOC movement toward inclusiveness will lead to increased public trust and support from a statewide community eager to be on board.