When Councilor Wayne Matewsky needs to know about what is happening at the after-hours hot dog stand on the Parkway, he said he has no shortage of information.
The immensely popular Love Dog stand has been very forthcoming with information over the past year, he said.
However, when he wants to know more about the $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor project in his own back yard, he said he and three other councilors have been shut out.
“There are four councilors that haven’t been invited to the casino site for the past three years,” he said. “I’m feeling a little slighted. They have their favorites. There are four councilors that haven’t been invited and others have. I didn’t even get a Christmas card. I get more information from a hot dog stand on the Parkway than I do about the Wynn project…I feel disappointed. I’m not a token person up here.”
Matewsky joined in the resolution with Councilors Leo McKinnon and Rosa DiFlorio – all of whom said they would like to have Wynn come to the City Council to meet everyone.
“They could come here and meet with us in executive session if need be,” said McKinnon. “They should be able to do that. That way they are coming here to all of us in a meeting setting.”
The three councilors indicated that their group of councilors often gets shut out of information and invites when it comes to Wynn. Some councilors, on the other hand, seem to get more information and get invited to the site.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he respectfully disagreed with the assertion, noting that a lot of information has been shared and that every councilor has been invited. In regards to the most recent information regarding potential sales or non-sales of the project, he said many of the local team has no more information than the Council.
“The entire company got turned on its head in 90 days time,” he said. “Do you really think the people in Medford at Wynn Boston Harbor knew what was going on? They didn’t. You had a strong CEO suddenly get ousted in days. People in Medford did not know their future on that project…If you feel slighted, I’m sorry.”
DeMaria said Wynn Boston Harbor officials preferred having smaller meetings with three or fewer councilors on site rather than in the public forum at this point. He said Wynn is more than willing to meet with the four “slighted” councilors in a small group meeting.
Councilor Michael McLaughlin, who just took a tour of the site with other councilors last week, said he shares information all the time with the rest of the Council. He said he isn’t in Wynn’s pocket, but that perhaps some of the councilors aren’t in the loop because of a lack of technology.
“I have month after month shared the job numbers Wynn gives out,” he said. “I share it every month with my fellow councilors. Councilor Matewsky doesn’t have a cell phone so I can’t send it to him. To be honest, it’s nothing more than a concrete building down there. Everybody can attend those tours. I apologize that Councilor Matewsky wasn’t getting the updates but it was because I didn’t realize his cell phone doesn’t get text messages…I work hard as a city councilor and so do you. To try to paint me with this kind of brush this evening is wrong.”
Matewsky said that while he may not be a texting virtuoso, there are plenty of ways to contact him without using cell phones.
“I’ve had the same phone number for 47 years,” he said. “Everyone knows how to get ahold of me. I have e-mail. I appreciate that these younger folks send text messages. That’s nice. But there’s a reason why the outreach hasn’t reached out to myself and the others…Now all the sudden I’m supposed to get text messages. What’s wrong with the mailman?”