You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Editorials

editorial

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse’s too-sudden shift on casinos

Alex B. Morse’s election as mayor of Holyoke last year was bigger than any single issue, but his opposition to a casino in the city was a major factor. An improbable winner at age 22, Morse represented hope for Holyoke; he seemed to embody the new ideas the city would need to transcend its downtrodden past. His opponent, like civic leaders in a number of mill towns around Massachusetts, saw a casino as a source of much-needed economic development. Morse touted a different approach, in which old mills and theaters would be converted to a combination of residences and office space. His opposition to a casino clearly resonated with voters, and his election was a fatal blow to Hard Rock International’s plan for a Holyoke casino.

For all these reasons, Morse’s new position on the issue is more than just a change of heart. His decision to back a gambling resort at Mountain Park — an outdoor concert venue on the site of a defunct amusement park — undercuts the reasons many Holyoke voters elected Morse to begin with. Moreover, Morse’s shift was head-spinningly abrupt. As recently as October, he wrote in a commentary in CommonWealth Magazine that “a casino in Holyoke would not aid in our economic rebirth, but would ultimately undermine the effort.”

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week