Dear Michael Mathis: In your December 13, 2013 letter to our Town Manager Stephen Crane about our negotiations

o er a surroun!ing community agreement, you state!: "#e ha e repeate!ly hear! that it is pointless to attempt to negotiate a surroun!ing community agreement with $ongmea!ow as it is a common perception that the lea!ership o% your community is unconcerne! with the resurgence o% Spring%iel! or the economic !e elopment that we are attempting to bring to the #estern Massachusetts region, an! will only use this process to %rustrate the progress o% our proposal& The con!uct o% certain members o% your Select 'oar! an! a recent Town Meeting ote contribute to this perception& #e remain hope%ul that is not the case an! that the Town o% $ongmea!ow is procee!ing in goo! %aith in these negotiations&" To the e(tent that your comment about the "con!uct o% certain members o% your Select 'oar!" is !irecte! towar! me, I thought it woul! be use%ul %or you to hear my intentions !irectly, rather than your ha ing to rely upon the "common perception" o% uni!enti%ie! in!i i!uals& I inten!, an! the people in the community wor)ing with me inten!, to use e ery legal means a ailable to stop casino gambling %rom coming to Spring%iel! an! to Massachusetts generally& The negotiation o er the surroun!ing community agreement with $ongmea!ow is not one o% those means, an! the *aming Commission+s proce!ures ensure that it will not be one o% those means& The surroun!ing community agreement is a separate issue %rom: ,a- whether M*M is suitable un!er our gaming statute, ,b- whether the *aming Commission shoul! issue a casino license to your company, i% you are !eeme! suitable, an! ,c- whether the entire casino legislation shoul! be repeale! in a re%eren!um ne(t year& I ha e ne er attempte! to lin) the issue o% your payment to $ongmea!ow un!er a surroun!ing community agreement to the support or o% M*M+s bi! %or a license, as you apparently are !oing& The ote at our /all Town Meeting against your pro0ect, o% which you apparently !isappro e, was !one because the gaming statute passe! by our legislature re1uire! that the iews o% surroun!ing communities be consi!ere! in awar!ing a license& It was our right an! our !uty to ta)e that ote& I belie e it woul! be improper to tra!e our support or silent ac1uiescence to your plans %or a larger surroun!ing community payment& $i)ewise, it woul! be improper %or you to con!ition payments that you owe $ongmea!ow un!er the gaming statute upon our support %or your company, your pro0ect, or casino gambling in general& The surroun!ing community payment shoul! be base! on the %acts an! nothing else& In other wor!s, the payment !epen!s on the particulari2e! impact your pro0ect will ha e on $ongmea!ow, which is something my colleagues an! I are stu!ying care%ully&

I re0ect your suggestion that I, an! the many other people who %eel as I !o, such as the ma0ority o% the oters in #est Spring%iel!, are "unconcerne! about the resurgence o% Spring%iel!," or economic !e elopment in western Massachusetts& Such sanctimony !oes little to a! ance the !ebate o er whether casino gambling is goo! %or this area& The people o% $ongmea!ow, #est Spring%iel!, an! the other surroun!ing communities ha e care! about Spring%iel! long be%ore M*M came to town& #e wor) in Spring%iel!, we patroni2e local businesses in Spring%iel!, an! we gi e money an! time to institutions that support Spring%iel!& Those who are against casino gambling belie e that your pro0ect will hurt more than it will help& It will !estroy locally.owne! restaurants& It will !isplace grassroots cultural an! entertainment organi2ations& It will increase tra%%ic an! !iminish the 1uality o% li%e aroun! Spring%iel!& It will increase gambling a!!iction, an! it will ta)e money %rom the poc)ets o% local resi!ents an! !irect that money into corporate co%%ers %ar %rom western Massachusetts& 3ou ob iously %eel otherwise, but this argument about whether casino gambling will bring the cornucopia o% bene%its you promise, or whether it will !o 0ust the opposite, is 1uite besi!e the point o% your letter& The surroun!ing community agreement is a narrow issue that is go erne! by the gaming statute an! accompanying regulations& I ha e come to this issue with no pre.concei e! notions as to !ollar amounts, an! I ha e not attempte! to lin) this issue with any other& I am sure that i% both si!es honestly a!!ress themsel es to this issue, we can reach a mutually acceptable surroun!ing community agreement& 4le( 5& *rant, $ongmea!ow Select 'oar! Member

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful