We asked the candidates for mayor in Everett three questions related to the $1.2 million resort casino that is being proposed by Steve Wynn. Question 1: How will Everett change if the casino is built? See questions two and three.
Millie Cardello, Ward 1 Alderwoman
As I have said from the beginning, the possibility of the added revenue that the casino would bring along with that of additional development that will follow can be an asset in the building of a stronger financial foundation for our community. That being said, along with the review of the fine-tuned details of the other host agreements of Boston, Revere, and Milford, it is clear that we could have done a much better job in negotiating our host agreement. It is unfortunate that we entered into an agreement so quickly.
I feel if more time were spent in learning the complex details involved and bringing in truly independent consultants with the best interest of Everett, we could have come to an overall better and more detailed agreement for all of Everett. Rushing into an agreement with a political agenda is already showing that many details were overlooked or rushed into that will cost Everett and its small business community in the long run.
Carlo DeMaria Jr., Mayor
When you have a developer like Steve Wynn come to town, it has a positive impact on the entire city, not just one site. Steve has seen in Everett what I have always seen. Great people, a stable financial outlook, and a future that is bright. Together, we will make Everett even better than it is today with renovated infrastructure, access to the waterfront, remediation of a contaminated site, and a world-class resort destination as the city’s front door.
Robert Van Campen, Ward 5 Alderman
This development has the potential to be a game-changer for South Everett. It has the potential to transform an industrial section of our community into a thriving and vibrant destination location. What concerns me is that Everett could lose its identity in this process. Instead of Wynn/Everett becoming a new corporate neighbor, Everett could easily become merely a support system for this billion dollar “Destination Resort/Casino.”
My concerns are based on the inadequacies of the casino host agreement negotiated by the current mayor. There are virtually no protections in that agreement for residents and businesses, there is no concrete commitment from the developer with respect to traffic mitigation, and the business community will receive a $50,000 crumb in the form of purchased gift certificates from the developer while those same business owners will effectively subsidize the 50 percent discount Wynn receives on its tax bill.