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 2: What would be the benefit, and the negative effect, of a casino? See questions one and three.
MILLIE CARDELLO, Ward 1 Alderwoman
Many of the positive factors have already been presented over the past eight months, with added revenue and job opportunities leading the way. The concerns of traffic issues, although general comments have been presented, no detailed or concrete solutions have been set forth. There are now studies surfacing that the crime in the immediate areas of a casino is an issue. Also, the overall effect on property values in a host city needs to be looked at. In talking to real estate companies here in Everett and in surrounding cities, there has already been some concern from buyers looking to owner-occupy single-family homes in a community where a casino may be located. The property in the immediate area of the casino may be desirable to large development companies, buthow does a casino in Everett affect the rest of the city?
CARLO DEMARIA JR., Mayor
The benefits to the city’s residents and businesses are plentiful and recognized by the residents. These include construction jobs, permanent jobs, substantially increased revenue, and enhanced infrastructure to name just a few. Any negatives that exist, like increased costs to the city, will be mitigated through our successful host community agreement.
ROBERT VAN CAMPEN, Ward 5 Alderman
Siting a casino in an older urban community is a new concept. Although studies have shown the effects casinos operating in suburban or rural locations have on the city or town in which they are located, it is not clear what the effect would be here in Everett.
Benefits would include the promised construction jobs and permanent jobs at the casino. It remains to be seen how many and what type of jobs would be realized. Additionally, the revenue generated from such a development would be beneficial to the community.
There would be a negative impact in terms of increased crime rates. Studies have shown an increase in crime in the casino host community and in neighboring communities. Those studies also show an increase in traffic accidents and traffic violations, and a corresponding increase in motor vehicle insurance premiums. There will be a negative impact as well on local businesses. The mayor’s glaring failure to protect local businesses in the host agreement the way Boston and Revere were able to will result in a net negative impact for our business community.