Yes – let’s have a Middleboro casino

By , June 21, 2013 11:51 pm

…. because it worked out so well the last time.

The scuttlebutt around town is that a “developer” floated an “informal proposal” to the Middleboro Town Manager and Board of Selectman.

Selectmen are dismissing an informal proposal for a commercial casino with little public input. The casino proposal comes from a developer who asked to remain unidentified until the deal is firmed up.

The developer floated his casino proposal to Middleboro Town Manager Charles J. Cristello but selectmen kyboshed the plan without public discussion. Former selectman Adam M. Bond questions selectmen’s decision and called for an open debate.

I have to laugh at the call for open debate since the last casino was the poster child for backdoor secrecy – but that’s neither here nor there.

One of the biggest problems with our last casino was that the town went all in and basically went insane for three or four years for a project that started off as a long shot and then became a virtual impossibility in early 2009. Regardless of reality, the town carried on whole hog and pissed away a bunch of time and effort for a project that offered very little revenue. All during that time I bemoaned our paltry $9M payment and called for payments well north of $20M – which is exactly what host communities are negotiating today with the current applicants for commercial casinos. But back to point: We wasted a whole pantsload of time for something that had two chances – slim and none. We probably flushed thousands of hours of town government time and a couple of hundred thousand dollars down the crapper.

Now we’re supposed to go through that whole charade all over again? You can be sure that other players in our region are well ahead of the game and have concrete proposals. The last thing Middleboro needs to do is to start wasting its time on “The Big Stupid Longshot – Part 2”. Let’s all understand something. If there is going to be a casino in the Southeast Region – it will NOT be in Middleboro.

Why?

When the Mashpee Wampanoags were pushing their casino on an eager public, the governor submitted a very thoughtful – and thorough – 120 page document opposing the project. Translation: “I love casinos – just not Middleboro ones”. This same governor bent over backwards to help the very same tribe with the very same project in a different town. Middleboro is too close to the Raynham Racetrack and is definitely not New Bedford – the odds on favorite for hosting a Region C casino.

What the Board of Selectman did was to say “No” to a project that is not going to happen based on their experience with a prior project that is still not going to happen. The town has limited resources and can’t waste them on pipe dreams.

4 Responses to “Yes – let’s have a Middleboro casino”

  1. Nocasino says:

    When does this guy give it up?

    Hey Adam, fool me once shame on you…

  2. Mary Stone says:

    Actually, sounds to me like he too vetoed the idea of making this decision “in camera” — Bumpkin’s right, it’s too late for M’boro, other communities are further along in the process for a now-legal commercial enterprise, the tribe is still flailing, we’ve been there, done that, and have the scars, and the nifty orange T-shirts. If a casino gets built in SE Mass it will NOT be here. However, I do hope that the matter of the IGA with zero contingency clause is put before a court of law and the town gets something of the overdue PILOT payments, but if I were town manager I would not waste town counsel’s time, money, effort on taking the tribe to court over them. Just. Let. It. Go. and count ourselves lucky that the cost was not in fact higher.

  3. Adam Bond says:

    Nocasino: My comment has nothing to do with you. So be fooled or not, it is of no significance to me. That being said, I am surprised that the TM allegedly polling the BOS would not even create a wimper from MB, let alone a desire to find out why the TM is “polling.” My view that it should have been brought out for discussion is based on what the procedure should be. TM gets a call. TM places it in the TM weekly report. BOS decides at the meeting, in front of the cameras, what it chooses to do. End of scenario. But by all means MB, take your information spoon fed from the BOS, as well as filtered. Even Jack Healey was required to write the “Casino Anyone…?” memo to the BOS and raise it at the BOS meeting BEFORE anyone had met with any tribe regarding any casino. But that may have all happened before you actually became involved.

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