Last Saturday’s overwhelming approval of the casino question for Everett can leave little doubt that residents support the project. While the local voter approval was never in doubt, the margin of victory came as a surprise to some longtime observers. We believe that in East Boston and Revere the margin of victory will not be as large.
We congratulate Steve Wynn and his team for making their case to local voters. But, the real yeoman work for this victory was done by Mayor Carlo DeMaria and his team who worked on Saturday and got the vote out.
Some may think that now all we can do is wait for the Gaming Commission to make its decision in February.
However, we urge all those involved in the decision making process not to just sit back and wait until February. There are still too many details that could go wrong and could end up derailing this proposal.
Now is the time to review all agreements by both Everett and Wynn officials and tweak any grey areas.
Now is the time to get the traffic studies done and advanced by putting into concrete form the changes that will show how the roads will be improved to accommodate the increased traffic.
Now is the time to make sure that the increased traffic will not adversely affect any of our neighborhoods.
Now is the time to conduct more outreach into the community to make sure that there are no questions that have not been answered or that have been glossed over in the last six months.
While we are disappointed that Mayor Thomas Menino will not meet with Wynn officials, there will certainly be traffic impact in the Somerville and Charlestown areas especially around Sullivan Square. We urge more detailed plans that will dovetail into the proposed renovations by Boston officials for Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square.
We also suggest that the Wynn officials meet with leaders of the surrounding communities, Medford, Chelsea and Malden, especially given the fact that the Medford City Council voted last week not to support the Wynn project.
Lastly, we believe that water ferry service is an intriguing and possibly deal making proposition for this proposal. We urge all involved to get more definitive on the cost that will be incurred and who will be picking up the tab and how all residents in the surrounding communities will benefit from a water taxi service.
With this vote on Saturday completed, the table for the final pitch to the Gaming Commission, has been set. In the end, we believe the project that has the most detail will be chosen in February.
Today we have the luxury to make some vague proposals take on a concrete form. We have the time to look at two or three or four different options. While we now await the plebiscite in Revere and East Boston on the Suffolk Downs casino proposal that should be happening in the fall, we urge all those involved in the Wynn project to take a hard and objective look at all of the proposals.