Amateurs Gone Wild

By , July 13, 2007 3:19 pm

Say it ain’t so! According to this article

“Town Planner Ruth E. Geoffroy and Selectman Adam M. Bond said they are willing to toss out the July 3 counteroffer the town sent to tribe officials and start from the original $7 million a year proposal worked out in June by tribe and town officials.”

For those who haven’t been reading regularly, here is a brief history of Middleboro’s bumbling effort to create a deal with a huge multinational corporation that wants to build the largest casino in the world.:

  • We created a terrible deal without doing any serious impact analysis. It was negotiated by people(Jack Healey and Jon Whitten) who have zero expertise in Indian Gambling
  • We brought in a high-powered expert – Dennis Whittlesey to re-work the deal
  • Whittlesey spent a solid month analyzing the impacts and wrote a very comprehensive agreement
  • In typical Marshall fashion, he called the new agreement hostile because he didn’t like it. Middleboro immediately fell to it’s knees begging forgiveness
  • At the first hint of resistance by the Tribe, Middleboro caved in, agreed to scrap the “good” deal, and start negotiating from the original lousy deal
  • What’s worse, negotiations are now being done by Selectman Adam Bond and Town Planner Ruth E. Geoffroy – neither of whom have any expertise in negotiating these kinds of agreements

Now – Ruth is a good person and I’m not criticizing her – just the fact that we need experts running this negotiation – not local town employees.

I have to ask you guys – ARE YOU NUTS!!.

We paid good money for one of the best experts in the field to write an agreement that made sense for the town based on the impacts we can expect to have from hosting the largest casino in the world. Now you start over from the original agreement – that was totally inadequate – and try to cut a brand new agreement in time for a July 28 town meeting. It took an expert in this field 4 solid weeks to create the agreement that you are so quick to throw away. You think you can do it in a week?!!?.

This is the point where we say: “This is what we require. Take it or leave it”. Creating a deal that only covers costs – or worse – leaves us in a finacial hole IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. The fact that we agreed to throw out the “good” agreement and start with the “bad” one is a collosal show of weakness that puts us in an incredibly weak bargaining position. You’re pretty much telling them “OK, I give up, I’ll do anything you want. Just don’t call accuse me of being hostile again”. Sheesh!!.

BOS – You guys have botched this process every step of the way.

  • Approached the tribe without the public’s input
  • You auctioned off our greatest bargaining chip – the land – leaving us in a very weak position
  • You let Jack negotiate an agreement with no expert gaming credentials resulting in a horrible deal that set the bar WAY TOO LOW
  • You have actively worked to squelch public comment and opinion though you seem to be OK with 5 minute long applause so long as it’s coming from pro-casino people
  • You are rushing into an agreement for no good reason. Is it to get the job done before more opposition builds up? WHY THE RUSH??
  • The only smart thing you’ve done is bring in Whittlesey and now you are throwing away all his work
  • Now you are starting from an artificially weak agreement with no hope of raising it up to the level we need – the level defined in the Whittlesey agreement

So what is the plan? To cobble together some half-baked agreement that appears to be marginally better than the first one and try to sell it to us as a huge improvement?

This is your chance to make up for all the past misdeeds. Tell them they have two choices: Sign the Whittlesey agreement, or go elsewhere.

Middleboro has survived since 1669 without a casino and we’ll survive without one. Our forefathers gave us this land unsullied by the social wart known as casinos. We are the stewards of this land – it is on loan to us – and our responsibility is to pass it on to our children in an unspoiled state. As stewards, we must protect the land and the community. The last thing we should be allowed to do is to rush out an agreement that is held together with bailing wire, bubblegum, and duct tape – creating a socio-economic blemish that our descendents will have to live with forever.

SLOW IT DOWN. This agreement should take MONTHS to complete not DAYS.

One Response to “Amateurs Gone Wild”

  1. Toney says:

    Great, very informative, i plan on bookmarking this site, well written and just downright enjoyable

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