I am truly flabbergasted at Governor Deval Patrick’s proposition for 3 casinos in Massachusetts.
A little history here with casinos and the North Shore. (Disclaimer– I haven’t been able to do a lot of research, so this is mostly from memory, but, I believe, the general gist is correct.)
Up here on the North Shore, we’ve “been here done this.” Good grief.
I believe it was around 1996 that Harveys Casino Resorts proposed building a $300 million casino in Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts. It was strongly supported by then Senator James Jajuga, D-Metheun (this is a vast understatement).
It was perceived by the folks in Newburyport, MA that there was no greater threat, for all sorts of reasons, to the area, than what Harveys Casino Resorts was proposing.
And for years folks tried to put an end to that madness.
I believe in was either in 1999 or 2000 that Frank Schaeffer and Jerry Klima (and others) formed the Salisbury Taxpayers Association to fight Harveys Casino Resorts.
And in about 3 months (maybe not that fast, but, i.e. quickly), the town of Salisbury had a very contentious (as I remember it) vote (I think it was non-binding, in 2000) and voted down having Harveys Casino at Salisbury Beach.
Klima, Schaeffer and others had come up with an alternative solution. A version of which is being considered for Salisbury Beach today.
With good town planning, that area looks like it could have an amazing Renaissance, with good jobs and great places to live. And as a result Salisbury, MA is becoming one of the “it” places to move to.
It really is for me, “Déjà vu all over again.” And I’m glad to read that Mayor John Moak is against the idea. And I am assuming that Jim Stiles (mayoral candidate) would be very much against the concept as well.
I don’t like it that Senator Baddour is supporting the objective at all (like his predecessor)(although he apparently doesn’t want it here) and Mike Costello is open to the idea (although it sounds like he doesn’t want it here either).
A case of major “historic memory loss.”
Apparently a casino would not be slated (at least as I understand it) for this particular area (maybe… not guaranteed), but all the reasons for NOT building a casino in Salisbury, MA applies to every place else too. And all the reasons for having a casino back in 1996, are exactly the same reasons that are being touted now.
Casinos were seen as the “magic” financial panacea back in 1996, just as they are being seen as the “magical” cure-all in 2007.
I’m real happy to be a “fiscal conservative” (paying your bills), but I also am a big fan of trying to “be in touch with reality.”
We either need to find a balance on the Federal level, between national security and helping states, cities and towns; and/or, sorry folks, to raise Massachusetts state taxes back to 5.5%. When Massachusetts voted to lower the state tax rate, our schools, infrastructure, etc were bound to suffer. (Really winning friends with that paragraph.)
My Dad (see earlier entry) is right, there is no such thing as a “free lunch.” And having casinos in Massachusetts would NOT amount (pun intended) to any kind of “free lunch.” Eventually, you pay.