On Monday, September 22, 2014, two representatives of Stop the Schenectady Casino spoke before the casino Location Board at the Capital Region Public Comment Event. Mohamed Hafez made a rousing presentation of why a casino would harm the people and City of Schenectady, from the perspective of a landlord and businessman and of a resident trying to make a better Schenectady.
In addition, our STATEMENT in OPPOSITION to the Schenectady Casino (20 pages, plus twelve Attachments) was submitted that day to the Location Board, with a signed Cover Letter. A brief summary of the five major points made and explained in the Statement, along with thumbnails and links to the attachments, can be found below.
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OUR FIVE MAIN REASONS for OPPOSING the SCHENECTADY CASINO:
- Unlike the other Capital Region locations proposed to the Board, the Schenectady Casino is the only Location Well on its Way to Being Fully Developed without a Casino, and Schenectady already has a Vibrant and Successful Development Process. The Applicant claims that the casino would remove the largest brownfield in New York State, but the site remediation process is almost complete and would have been done without the casino, as required for the $200 million Mohawk Harbor development.
- The Schenectady Casino is the only proposal that directly threatens the welfare of a treasured Historic District – the Schenectady Stockade Historic District
- The Schenectady Casino is the only proposed location and Applicant that directly threaten the welfare of a full campus of potential young gamblers living no more than a few blocks away.
- Mohawk Harbor’s Urban Location has More Disadvantages than Advantages – e.g., increased probability of social ills due to problem gambling, more crime, a more regressive tax structure.
- The Applicant’s Local Support is Less Significant than It Claims and Weaker than in Competing Communities
Here are thumbnails and links to the Twelve Attachments we used to illustrate and supplement our Statement to the Location Board:
- #1: a Map of the Vicinity .
- #2: Jean Zegger’s one-page history of our Unique Stockade
- #3 & #4: two collages showing the beauty and community spirit of the Stockade Neighborhood:
. . . a collage showing just how close a Union College dorm is to the casino (i.e., about a block away)
- #7: Rev. Baron’s Show of Hands . . . .
- #8: a spread sheet showing the Schenectady County Election Results on Proposition One
. . #9 & #10: statements from our religious community condemning the process used by the Schenectady City Council and opposing the casino
- . . . #11: a trip down Front Street showing the threat of traffic gridlock and other problems caused by casino traffic
. . #12: a sample of our Petition Opposing the Casino, which we are submitting today with 363 signatures, 125 of them by people living in the Stockade Historic District (more people than were members of the Stockade Association over the past year).
Capital Region Casino public hearing – “Public Comment Event”
WHEN: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday
WHERE: Holiday Inn, Stonehenge Room A & D, 205 Wolf Road, Colonie
IN-PERSON: Seating is first-come, first-served. Pre-registered speakers should arrive 15 minutes before scheduled time to check-in. Walk-in speakers can register on-site on a first-come, first-served basis.
ONLINE: The full hearing will be streamed live and archived on the Gaming Commission’s website at www.gaming.ny.gov.
Written comments : May be submitted at the event or by email to CapitalRegion@gaming.ny.gov up to seven days after the hearing (September 29, 2014), to be part of the hearing record. NOTE: Comments received after Sept. 29 will also be considered by the Board as part of its RFA review process.