Everyday there seems to be a new twist and turn in the ongoing saga of the proposed Wynn Resort casino complex on Route 99. Lawsuits are filed like they are going out of style and innuendos are bandied about based on falsehoods.
A few weeks back, there were accusations about the land purchase where the casino will be located. City of Boston officials jumped on the bandwagon and inferred that the land purchase was tainted.
Now, the ultimate arbiter in this newest chapter has gone public and set the record straight. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz has said that the recent allegations that Boston officials spewed were groundless. Anyone who knows of Steve Wynn’s reputation would have doubted the validity of these Boston officials’ claims. But, in Massachusetts, it does not really seem to matter whether one can make a sensational claim that is groundless.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh obviously is against the Wynn Resort because the Suffolk Downs casino proposal put forward by Mohegan Sun would have been more lucrative for the City of Boston. No one can fault Mayor Walsh for seeking to do what is best for his city. Wynn Resorts will pay much less to the City of Boston than the Mohegan Sun proposal. That is a fact. (Although the larger question that never will be determined was whether all the money that Mohegan Sun said it was going to pay to surrounding communities was sustainable.)
However, the bottom line is that the City of Boston will receive almost as much as the City of Everett in its mitigation package. The only difference is that the hotel will be taxed entirely in Everett and that makes Everett’s deal much more lucrative.
Many surrounding communities also will receive compensation from Wynn Resorts and they have signed an agreement, although the communities of Somerville and Revere have filed lawsuits that are scheduled to be heard shortly.
Mayor Walsh seems to be taking a tactic of filing lawsuits in the hopes that Wynn will just leave the state. We do not think that is a realistic assumption.
We urge the mayor to accept reality, acknowledge that this project will happen, and try to iron out his differences with Wynn over items such as the traffic patterns at the Sullivan Square rotary. As regards that issue, we cannot believe that Steve Wynn would want his customers waiting in stop-and-go traffic, creeping along Rutherford Ave., as they try to get to his resort. The traffic in Sullivan Square is horrendous today and only continually getting worse from the Assembly Square Mall development. Wynn Resorts can be a solution for this traffic problem that has been on-going for more than 20 years.
But just as it takes two to tango, so too, it takes two to negotiate a reasonable agreement. Wynn officials have tried repeatedly to sit down and find a solution, while Mayor Walsh’s officials allegedly either have not shown up at meetings or have said one thing in private meetings and another in the public forum.
This type of action by the City of Boston is just unacceptable.