Thursday, February 11, 2010
Ask the blind man...he saw it all!
Hello? Is anybody out there? BoS...can you see it?
The BoS just doesn't get it. The Tribe is out negotiating a better deal--apparently they don't share your "neighborly" feelings Mimi. It also appears that our own so-called representatives are on the move to help the Tribe get a casino -- SOMEWHERE ELSE. Good riddance at this point.
We have a House Bill and a Senate Bill that BOTH show that the sponsors of the Bill would be more than happy to have the Wampanoag Casino somewhere other than where the Tribe and Town have agreed to put it. Mr. Pacheco claims that he has no interest in having the casino moved from Middleborough, yet the bill he offered (just something to get discussions started), talks about a preference to a sovereign tribe in "Bristol County market" which apparently is supposed to include Plymouth County.
For the moment, let's assume that that strained interpretation is true. If the sponsor of that bill, our Senator, knows that Middleborough has a penned deal with the Tribe, then why would any bill he sponsors give a preference for any location other than where there is already a contract--Middleborough. The bill adopts as an assumption that the casino can be given preference in a place other than Middleborough. Now I know that our representatives say they won't try to tell the Tribe where to put its casino. Apparently, our representatives don't want to acknowledge that the Tribe and the Town already made that choice. In fact, to give a preference in a region, rather than to expressly state that a preference will be given for the Middleborough deal certainly is a good basis to ask "Who do you really represent, and it doesn't seem to be little Middleborough."
Then add to this problem that Sen. Pacheco also has sponsored a bill with Tom Calter, which bill also ignores the deal in Middleborough and puts the casino somewhere else. Tom Calter represents us, BUT he has at all times made his position known that he does not believe a casino in Middleborough works--he never hid that belief! See http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/186/ht04pdf/ht04068.pdf. Canessa, Calter, and Pacheco are all on this Bill, which refuses to recognize the deal already in place, and contemplates the possibility of the casino being granted somewhere else.
Then, we have the Tribe meeting with the Governor and other State officials regarding the details of the casino project, and perhaps where it could go other than Middleborough, but the Tribe does not have us at those meetings. Our attendance was promised by our "neighbors" from Mashpee, and our attendance was required under the IGA. In fact, it was our neighbor, Shawn Hendricks that wrote to the Governor in September 2008 that:"We ask the representatives of the Town sit in on negotiations when issues affecting the host community are discussed..." Moving the casino to another location certainly would affect this host community--but our Selectmen, all of them, are doing nothing (at least, nothing in the open).
BoS, where are you. Are you sleeping the slumber of fools. Is the Tribe still our "neighbor," or do good fences really make good neighbors? Does the impotent vote of Middleborough really jar our government representatives to support the contract? Do you care to actually look at the pieces on the chess board and make a move--if there is any move left?
At this point I have to agree with the antis that this deal is dying a slow and morbid death, and that by the looks of who the Town is in bed with, all neighborly and warm fuzzy feelings should be gone. The deal has gotten away from this Board, the opportunities to save any part of it, or to get something from its are almost all gone--except for one.
Nothing has been decided by the legislature (at least not publicly), so the Tribe still needs the Town as a safe base. Threaten to take away their safe base, call them on their breaches and negotiate their exit from Town, and make them either commit to this Town NOW, or risk all of their hopes on what the state will give them elsewhere. This is the right play, as without the penned Middleborough deal, the State has no incentive to deal with the Tribe, and the Tribe has no place to put the hallowed ever shrinking bingo hall.
Call it a day BoS, and call their cards. Its time to see who wins the pot and move on with life. All it takes is a phone call and one meeting.
Posted by AMB at 11:49 AM