Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s threat to scuttle the Wynn casino development (since it is being built on a sliver of Boston land) is reason for concern. Menino is a politician from the old school who knows how to get what he wants — and what Mayor Menino wants is the casino and its revenue for his city.
In the beginning of the Suffolk Downs proposal, the casino and hotel were to straddle both Revere and Boston, but Menino made sure that the complex was moved and sited completely on the Boston side of the Suffolk Downs property. This move eliminated any need to share any of the rooms or other casino taxes with the City of Revere.
Now Menino has said that the Wynn proposal also has Boston land in the development and with this fact, Boston will become a host community. And without a host agreement with Boston (that Menino is not willing to give), then the Wynn proposal effectively is dead. In all fairness, Charlestown will be impacted by traffic in Sullivan Square and Rutherford Avenue, but that issue can be decided at a later date with Boston and Wynn officials
Today, we urge our elected officials and city planners to go over the property lines of the development and make sure that Menino’s threat does not pan out. We also urge some creative thinking in perhaps reshaping the lot or by having the city take any part of the development land that might cause an issue. We are fearful that there may be more than a grain of truth to Menino’s threat, since both Steve Wynn and Mayor Carlo DeMaria were careful to say in the beginning of this process in December that the Boston land was not to be used in the development.
But the property lines that are in contention go back to the 1600’s and since Boston and Everett are in different counties, the ambiguity can be all the more difficult to properly adjudicate.
We have come too far to lose this opportunity over a technicality. We remind our city officials that “the devil is in the details.”