Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Additional Points of Discussion With The Tribe on April 13--What's Wrong With a Few Questions between Friends?

The meeting with the Tribe on April 13 is a waste of time, solely for the purpose of some PR and gald handing. The BOS is already behind in the race for leverage in this deal, and should have been meeting with the Tribe long ago to come to some productive adjustments to the deal. Now, the US Supremes have ruled, and the Tribe is lining up its ducks to be able to tell Middleborough that they need to change the deal by shaving off some of their obligations.

Rather than shaking handsAdditionally, things to raise with the Tribe at the April 13 Meeting.

1. 2% of net game of all casino games (in addition to the $7-9M + CPI payment):
This is incredibly important and runs with the "expectation of further remuneration" aspect of both the IGA and the written letter of support to the BIA. The 2% would be guaranteed by the Tribe, and offset if the State provides Middleborough with the 2%. The Tribe is then incentivized to use its significant leverage with the State to get Middleborough the % it was promised.

It is incredibly important that the 2% received from the State be defined very meticulously and in great detail. For example, if the State pays a real 2% to Middleborough, then there is an offset. If the State pays the 2% to Middleborough, but uses that same payment as a basis for reducing State aid to Middleborough, the the Tribe must make up the difference. The best way for this to be done is for the Tribe to negotiate into the compact (where Middleborough should have a right to be present), an agreement that any % payment to Middleborough coming from the State is exempt from any calculation of State aid to Middleborough, and the percentage cannot be reduced or eliminated by the State (since that would cause the Tribe to foot the bill.

2. Requirement that the Tribe purchase a $10,000,000 insurance policy for tort liability, and require AAA Arbitration of all tort claims relating to non-indians on the premises. This would cause the sovereign immunity issue to be reduced, since non-indians would have the ability to turn to neutral arbitrators, rather than Tribal courts, to obtain recompense for injuries to person. Many Tribes out west do this to assuage fears relating to sovereign immunity.

3. The CPI increase in the $7M payment should be made retroactive to the date of signature, since the representations made in the negotiations were that the resort would be completed relatively quickly (18-24 months), and each year that passes costs Middleborough more money. The CPI also should reflect the greater Boston area.

In return for the 2%, the BOS should offer the Tribe access to two specific local roads ONLY until the completion of Rte 44. The Tribe, under the current IGA, is NOT permitted to use any local roads once operations commence. This will force the State to deal with a Tribal Compact, as the project would no longer be dependent on whether Rte. 44 is completed in time. In other words, Middleborough giving up the local roads issue (in a very limited fashion, and only for a limited time), would incentivize the State to deal with the Tribe as some of the State's leverage in negotiations would be gone.


bogofree said...


What I had posted on 18 months ago and personally spoke to you about when this "deal" was in the works is quite similar to what you are stating. To me it was "all about the money."

I had posted coutless times that this deal should have included a 2%, a CPI from day one and a CPI based on Boston Region which generally runs higher than national. That in addition to the 7 million.

How many times did I have to defend my observations from VV on this deal? These very positions were attacked continually. Now you agree? Great...I can feel a sense of vindication but where were you 18 months ago?

Now the other issue is the room tax. Should compensation be given for comped rooms?

Moderator said...

I cannot speak for your discussions with VV on this matter, but I can tell you that the Boston Area CPI thought came from you. The 2% always was part of a promise that had existed from the beginning and was made more solid by the Tribe's bar from using the local roads. I never argued with you regarding the 2%. I just believed the timing for acting on it was different.

My view was, that at the right time, the BOS should raise it along with the other issues, since there was never any way that Rte. 44 would be done on the Tribe's schedule. Thus, whether the Tribe agreed that they should give us the % or not, they were stuck with the local road issue (the reason the provision was placed in there in the first place). But all of these issues were ripe to be discussed back in late December, as I argued, and as Whittlesey agreed. Minnie MiMi stubbornly disagreed, Marsha followed suit, Spataro did not even want metion of the IGA in the letter to the Tribe, and Pat was a bump on a log.

There has been a clear and unmistakeable indication by the BOS of its rank fear of irritating the Tribe (soon to be replayed on April 13). It seems that laying this out now makes some sense.

I must say that the main reason for being anti-casino in this Town is for the same reason you don't stick around after giving an 8 year old a Thompson Sub Machine Gun.

Bogofree said...

So it is like Thuderdome when Raggety Man (Mel Gibson) goes in to do battle to the death with Master Blaster. The MC says "I'd explain the rules but there isn't any."

Moderator said...

It is not like futures contracts where there are specs for each commodity (except onions). There is no set futures contract for casinos, and there has got to be some "creative" adjustment along the way as specific leverage points are hit. Our BOS simply ignores leverage points and simply accepts the IGA as the final contract no matter what. It is fluid.

BTW, the similarity I see is that Middleborough's BOS is apparently run on the same fuel as the city in Thunderdome. Remember what that was?

bogofree said...


Three questions for you and post this comment anywhere you feel comfortable with it including the trash bin.

#1. Do you consider yourself anti casino, pro casino or pro casino anti deal?

#2. With your knowledge of the issue would you every consider being a represenative for the town in a re-negotiation?

#3. I would assume that the town should have someone for over sight once this gets started - if it did. A full time employee during construction and after opening as our representative.


Moderator said...

1. I consider myself pro-casino, as long as the deal is pursued in the proper and responsible manner. If it keeps going in the way it has been mishandled, then I could quickly classify myself as an anti casino for Middleborough.

2 and 3. I would never abandon Middleborough, and was proud to represent it in the past, and would be proud to represent it in the future.

Moderator said...

Let me add just one more caveat. I would not be willing to represent the Town in renegotiation, unless I also was given discretion to be able to walk away from the deal altogther if it was appropriate.

You se, on the last deal, I was told that was not an option