Friday, January 23, 2009

Hell Hath Frozen

For anyone who missed the weekly radio pro-casino psychodrama known as Coffee Shop Talk hosted by Middleboro selectman Adam Bond, his spouse and their friend Billy - you missed the moment when, for the first and only time, Billy and I found ourselves on common ideological ground.

It was the point at which Adam resolutely insisted, in no uncertain terms, that Middleboro needed a casino - in such a way as to imply that the consequences of not having a casino spelled certain doom for the small town. (...Which is really kind of weird when you think about it - since every now and then lately, he'll say something about trying to get out of the intergovernmental agreement, which it's pretty obvious it doesn't want to do.)

Well anyway, that's when Billy sort of guffawed. The town doesn't need a casino, he said. Some people might want one. It could benefit some people, like himself, but heck, the earth wasn't going to open up and swallow the town whole if it didn't get a casino. The town would survive.

And he's right. Middleboro doesn't need a casino. I mean - do other towns in the area have a casino? No. Does any town in Massachusetts have a casino? No.

Then what makes Middleboro so destitute? Why is it's particular situation so dire, it's problems so insurmountable, that it cannot scratch and dig itself out of this reputably fathomless financial hole? Has it no highway access? No vast amounts of land? A shortage of labor? A dedicated and intelligent leadership at it's helm?


So why is it that a 340 year old town cannot creak out another year without a casino?

Well now, that later that same day I opened up the Brockton Enterprise to find this little gem about Raynham Dog Track owner George Carney and how he's musing over a new rezoning and development proposal for the track property.
Noting the town will lose $400,000 in annual revenue when the park shuts down, Carney said rezoning and developing the site to resemble a small village with a train station could mean "bringing $600,000 to $7000,000 to the town in revenue within eight to 10 years."
You're kidding me, right? Isn't this the same George Carney who, only a few short months ago, seemed to imply that the world was going to end in a horrible firey blaze if the State voted to end dog racing? So much for that, huh?

George Carney was never going to change his mind about dog racing. It took the State to do it. We have to look forward. Casinos don't help bad situations - they just make them worse. They increase costs, cause social problems, create regulatory bureaucracies, and never live up to their hype. New Jersey - 43,000 slot machines and it's asking the government for handout... When does it end?

When people stop believing they need casinos - that's when.

You know who needs casinos? Casino investors. That's who.

By taking the position that the town cannot survive without a casino - a philosophy ungrounded in reality - Mr. Bond is once again basing his beliefs and actions on a fiction.

The Tribe was never going to walk - that was pretty obvious. A casino was never inevitable. And the agreement sure didn't turn out to be that golden calf he promised.

Billy's right (but just this time). The town doesn't need a casino. But for some reason, maybe Adam does.


Bellicose Bumpkin said...

I heard that conversation differently.

I believe Adam was saying that our negotiation posture thus far has been representing us as needing a casino. Not that he things we need one, but that our posture suggests it - which weakens our negotiation position.

I could be wrong on that but that was my take when I was listening to it.

Nocasino said...


I would have to agree with Bumpkin on this one. I heard it as Adam saying, by the BOS not even asking to meet to discuss a potential problem with the IGA , the board was saying to the investors that we need it at any cost.

Bully boy is the one who needs it.

Gladys Kravitz said...

I respect your point Bumpkin - we all perceive things through our own lens. But then, you see the Adam glass as half full, and I see it as completely empty. ;~)

But anyway - I'm pretty sure I heard it as intended, which would explain how Billy responded. Maybe Adam messed up (hey that never happens to Adam.) But the reason I'm blogging it is because I was really struck by how much Adam seemed to feel, in that moment on his soap box, that the town needed the casino. I know he feels that way about the agreement, but this statement was almost Perkinsesque in it's certainly about the casino.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Oh one more thing...

"I believe Adam was saying that our negotiation posture thus far has been representing us as needing a casino. Not that he things we need one, but that our posture suggests it - which weakens our negotiation position."

Well, from where I've been sitting, Adam is responsible for that posture. Every step of the way he has given away the farm. Convinced people Middleboro needed to sign the agreement before all impacts were assessed. Caving at the first hint of tough talk from Glenn Marshall. Section 22 B. At the BIA hearing he even insisted that Middleboro was better off with a casino because it couldn't afford to fight the environmental problems brought by development, but the casino proponents had all the money and could mitigate all but the most insurmountable environmental impacts.

So, everyone, spare me.

From the time this nightmare began, it's just been one cup after another of 'we need the casino' Kool-aid.

Time to sober up.

Yeah - Adam wants to meet with the Tribe. That's good. The rest of the Board either doesn't or is waffly about it. But if Adam's motivations are anything but self-centered - then hell really will freeze over. And that's why you need to be careful. Get another lawyer. Hell, get another Board as fast as you can.

anna said...

The Bargaining Chip was gone when the land was auctioned in 2007.
Since Wayne Perkins publicly acknowledged that they were negotiating with the 'tribe' before they had recognition in
2006, when were they negotiating?
Since not a single member of the bos objected to the land auction, did they know as well?
Remember that Lincoln Andrews was on the board at the time.
Who knew?
And with whom were they negotiating?
It seems to me that regardless of what spin Adam puts on this, it's pretty meaningless.
Replace the board one member at a time with people willing to run the town for the benefit of the residents of the town without the hysteria and grandstanding.
And in the meantime, write letters to the addresses Gladys provided and ask that these issue be investigated and the Land Into Trust be placed on hold pending the investigations.

Adam: You don't like this brainless board? These are the candidates you supported. You got the board you wanted.

Carl said...

"What makes Middleborough so destitute?"

Five things:

1) Adam Bond
2) Stephen Spataro
3) Patrick Rogers
4) Marsha Brunelle
5) Muriel Duphily

Okay, 7

6) Jack Healy
7) William Marzlli

To some it up, bad leadership.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Good one, Carl.

peter the pauper said...

Mr. Carl,
I would point out that maybe since
you aren't a resident of M'boro,
you have overlooked numerous other fearless leaders.
Lincoln Andrews was on the bos until the April prior to TMFH.
Then there's Neil Rosenthal who attended the land auction and much else.
Then there's Wayne Perkins who negotiated 36% pay raises. A comparison with other towns of similar demographics indicates the wages to be excessive.
Maybe all the cronyism, nepotism, waste and stupidity had something to do with it?
And maybe if voters paid attention this was avoidable.
I've watched the Lakeville bos. You should be proud in comparison.

Carl said...

Yeah. I probably could have kept going with the names. Just being a neighbor looking over the fence, I have somewhat of an obstructed view. I am disappointed that I forgot Perkins. What a piece of work.
We do have a good working bunch. I have my issues with Chuck E. but other than his ill conceived hissy fit, he ain't half bad. If starts up his politcal agenda rants again, he will wish he hadn't.

allison said...

Somewhere else RICO was raised and it made me wonder if Glen Marshal will reveal enough information that would lead to prosecution of boro officials.

I think I did this right and I would appreciate what others have to say.

Anonymous said...

posted on MR, Stephen McKinnon is running for Selectman against Spatero. We need to get behind him to change the town one member at a time.