Monday, June 22, 2009
If It Ain't In Writing, It Don't Exist.
Remember a few months ago when Cedric Cromwell and his crew came to Middleborough for a love fest with the BOS--instead of a serious and real talk about what had been happening in the news and what the future of the project would be? Remember the BOS asking of the Pre-planning Mitigation monies ($250,000 annually) would be refundable to the Tribe if the project did not go through? Remember how Cedric said the past payments would not be refundable to the Tribe?
Well, that is all well and good, but as I understand it, almost two months later we still don't have that in writing signed by the Tribe. If it ain't written, it don't exist! In fact, the IGA specifically states that the agreement cannot be modified without a writing signed by the parties to be charged.
The BOS is too trusting of the Tribe that is already renogotiating with the investors--amusingly for the same reasons that the BOS was being asked to do the same thing back in December of 2008, with a letter from BOS counsel saying a discussion was an intelligent thing to do quickly in light of the Marshall indictment. The Tribe has no problem "kicking" their partners--but Middleborough has a higher collective wisdumb that defies the standards of complex commercial transactions, even where the IGA specifically states that Middleborough and the Tribe are NOT partners.
The BOS don't feel the need or urgency of getting a waiver of a refund in writing, signed by the Tribe. Let's trust the Tribe to do what's right, and let's just sit and let the taxpayers absorb any loss or litigation costs. "We don't need no stinkin' rules, or any promises in writing--were the Middleborough BOS and we know better." There is just no learning from past mistakes.
I have asked around, and my understanding is that Charlie intends to send a "confirming letter" to Cedric about the non-refundability of the funds. Good effort, but read the contract and notice that a confirming latter is not what we need and is probably insufficient. We need a signed letter from the Tribe, with the RIGHT language.
I don't think that Cedric should have a problem with that--since he and Aaron told me that they were going to have a letter to this effect to pass the BOS back in April, but they couldn't get the language finalized with their lawyers for the meeting. They also seem very content not to provide one until the BOS demands one.
It must be some complicated language (to say a very simple thing), since there still has not been one provided to Middleborough for almost two months. Maybe this has been an oversight--like the Tribe failing to include Middleborough in the letter to the Governor--or maybe Middleborough can't trust this new crew any better than the last crew. This is a simple matter and the Tribe won't act until pushed. Consider this my push, because the lack of an appropriate amendment to the IGA certainly would be a good reason, with this Tribe's history, to quickly become anti-Middleborough casino.
Certainly food for thought.
Posted by AMB at 8:49 AM