Looking at Suffolk Downs Casino

The discussion of the Suffolk Downs mitigation agreement last Tuesday night at the Revere City Council was a perfect example of councilors airing their differing points of view, but coming together in the end for the common good.

We recognize that many councillors hold the view that the casino agreement could be better, but in the end the councillors voted unanimously to accept the agreement that Mayor Dan Rizzo and his staff negotiated.

We believe that some of the concerns, such as the one expressed by Ward 5 Councillor John Powers about the need to reactiviate the Point of Pines Fire Station, are valid and should be considered since our population has increased by almost ten percent since the last census.  In the case of the Point of Pines Fire Station, our firefighters are dealing with more medical calls on Revere Beach and more traffic to get to these calls.  Today the only fire stations for this area are either on the Revere Beach Parkway or North Shore Road that at certain hours are a commuter’s parking lot.

However, today and going forward, we need this type of unified action more than ever.

The Suffolk Downs casino project after several years of a lot of trench work is still not a done deal.  The disagreement in Boston by candidates for mayor over whether a casino is welcome in Boston or who would vote on the proposal, especially since Mayor Thomas Menino is not seeking re-election, definitely is a big obstacle for the Suffolk Downs developers. The date for the vote in Boston is still not yet determined.

Revere is the last harbor of refuge for the Suffolk Downs casino project.  Rather than lose out to the Wynn proposal in Everett (that has the backing of 86 percent of the residents who voted in June and its elected leaders), if it looks like the casino will not fly with the voters or leaders of Boston, we urge our elected officials to start to draw up a contingency plan.

In the end, we should be safe rather than sorry and be prepared for all possible scenarios.

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