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Schenectady City Council backs casino proposal

People carrying signs in favor of and opposed to the proposed Schenectady casino came out to the City Council meeting on Monday.
People carrying signs in favor of and opposed to the proposed Schenectady casino came out to the City Council meeting on Monday.
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Schenectady casino would provide the city with a needed boost We've compiled all our local casino stories HERE. After a grueling three-hour session of public comment, the Schenectady City Council took a deep breath and voted to support a casino. The vote was 5-2, with members Marion Porterfield and Vince Riggi voting against. But the others said they couldn’t turn their back on millions in new revenue and more than 1,200 new jobs. “There will ...


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comments

JIMOCONNOR
June 10, 2014
7:43 a.m.

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Porterfield's objections are sound and well stated. Bravo Ms. Porterfield.. Thank you for your courage.

dagiacalone
June 10, 2014
10:32 a.m.

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Marion Porterfield and Vince Riggi should be thanked and congratulated for withstanding the immense pressure to go along with a Yes vote in order to present the look of unanimity. They did their homework, racked their brains, and searched their hearts. It is difficult to believe that the Council members who have been bubbly enthusiasts for a casino long before the details were known and constantly thereafter ever bothered to look into the real effects of an urban casino and the broken promises that come after every casino developer's pitch. The list of studies that should have been made and research done that apparently were ignored by City Hall is long enough to shame a high school dropout, much less a responsible public official.
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I appreciate the opportunities the Gazette reporters have given me to express my views. But, I did think I expressed them a little more clearly than the quotation in the above article. To my recollection, I was asked which of the many concerns of opponents I shareded. I replied that the only major concern that I did not personally share was that gambling itself is immoral. I then said I believed it was not moral, and search for a less-moralistic word, and chose "ethical", to base our tax policy and desire to reduce taxes on a plan that would take so much of its revenues from the poor and vulnerable, who would gamble more with a casino right in our City. If I was less clear than that outside the Meeting room, I am grateful for the chance to do some editing here in a Comment.

safny
June 10, 2014
11:05 a.m.

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The chronically unemployed are hardly the kind of people who can count on a 20 dollar an hour job involving large sums of other peoples' money. If there is a casino anywhere around here, the applications will be from all over the area and the people who run the casino will have their choice of who to hire. I do NOT feel that we should have to go along with this until we know for CERTAIN what the city and county will get as their part of the take from any casino. I did vote against the casinos and think this is a terrible idea. I also do not believe that Schenectady has the political clout to get the casino.

SchenectadyScott
June 10, 2014
2:49 p.m.

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Wishful thinking for those believing $20/hr jobs.....not going to happen...when GE is paying $15/hr....why in the world would a casino pay above that?

SchenectadyScott
June 10, 2014
3:08 p.m.

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The quote Vince Riggi used as part of his reasons to vote no were from Congressman Tonko's April 17 interview with Alan Chartok on WAMC. The Gazette should of printed this. "New York Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat representing the Capital Region, spoke with WAMC for an upcoming Congressional Corner segment on Thursday. He was asked about the many possible casino proposals being discussed within his district.

"You know, I’ve seen these dividing communities along almost a 50-50 threshold. If there is going to be an issue that people decide, if there is going to be a casino in the area, I hope it’s going to be a situation where it’s not in a poor neighborhood because of the disproportional impact on the poor," he said. "But in general, I’m concerned about us hinging our hopes for a better economy on casinos. I think there has got to be a better way, a more straightforward way. What we have is a dependency on perhaps someone to lose their retirement check or their week's salary so that we can invest in children and their future through education. Somehow that doesn’t make sense to me."

"I know people have been saying that it equals jobs and it provides for economic recovery. I don’t know if the soundness of that recovery is as great as we would like to think; you look at the economy in Las Vegas and Nevada, it has not been that great, the property values have dipped precipitously," he added. "I talked to my colleagues from Nevada, they have had tough, tough times and you see this growing number of states in the Northeast that are delving into this concept of casinos. I have to believe there is a finite amount of money that people are able, not necessarily willing, but able to give. After you have drained some of those paychecks and retirement accounts, what’s left? And of course the impact on the cultural industry in these towns: Proctors, SPAC, the track itself in Saratoga. This has to be done in a way that puts together a plan that can avoid however possible, the negative impact on some of the standing cultural entities or entertainment entities as they exist today and also just being conscious of just where we provide for the setting so that it is not going to make it so convenient for some of the poorest amongst us."

schdyres
June 10, 2014
4:04 p.m.

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Shame on King and the cowardly other rubber stamps who do not care about the opinions of the residents of Schenectady. Metroplex and a small gang of outside profiteers in cahoots with an opportunistic cabal of Democratic insiders are running the City. There is a need to open up and reform the Democratic party in Schenectady County and City.

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