Lincoln officials 'extremely opposed' to bill that would allow casino hotel

Lincoln officials 'extremely opposed' to bill that would allow casino hotel

LINCOLN - Town Councilors voted unanimously last week to approve a resolution that expresses their opposition to legislature proposed by state Rep. Robert Phillips of Woonsocket that supports removing restrictions against building a hotel on Twin River Casino property.

Drafted by Town Council President Keith Macksoud, the resolution states that House Bill 7350, "will make a very substantiative change in Rhode Island Public Law Chapter 323, which was enacted in 2005, to remove the restriction against a hotel being built on the property ... or being operated by Twin River Casino."

The bill is sponsored by Phillips and state Reps. Stephen Casey of Woonsocket, James McLaughlin of Cumberland and Central Falls, Brian Newberry of North Smithfield and Burrillville, and K. Joseph Shekarchi of Warwick.

Macksoud's resolution points out the change was not submitted by Twin River Casino, town officials nor Lincoln's state Reps. Jeremiah O'Grady of Lincoln and Pawtucket, Mia Ackerman of Cumberland and Lincoln, and Gregory Costantino of Lincoln, Smithfield and Johnston.

"Twin River has been and continues to be an exemplary corporate neighbor and has always included representatives of the town of Lincoln in its decision-making process whenever it is contemplating changes and/or amendments to the above mentioned laws and ordinances," the resolution states.

The resolution continues to state that such an action should only be initiated by the host community should it be decided that a hotel is in the best interest of the town. New construction, it states, would have to go through proper channels to ensure it is in compliance with Lincoln's Comprehensive Plan before it could be considered by the Planning and Zoning boards.

The resolution concludes that the Town Councilors "are extremely opposed to House Bill 7350" and encourage members of the Rhode Island General Assembly to voice their opposition.


Can Lincoln voters really believe or trust the true position of Councilman Macksoud?
Seriously, he submits a resolution stating he is against the building of a hotel on Twin River Property and feels that it would constitute a very substantive change! Does he expect that it would have a more negative impact than supporting a full gambling resolution that cuts out the Town of Lincoln from receiving any table game revenues, (that he supported)? Please!
Councilman Macksoud position is nothing more than a red herring!
A perfect example of this would be when Councilman Macksoud had sent resolution 07-44 to the General Assembly, stating that gambling would effect on both the immediate neighborhood surrounding this facility as well as the entire town, further stating that they were opposed to any expansion of gambling. Macksoud words!
What did he do later? Asked for a full gambling casino in Lincoln!
Does Councilman Macksoud really think we are going to be fooled by this pony show that he really cares?
Or is Councilman Macksoud just ignorant? It’s possible?
He said that this proposal violates the town’s comprehensive plan; it states that the hotel would have to go through proper channels to ensure it is in compliance with Lincoln's Comprehensive Plan before it could be considered by the Planning and Zoning boards. Really? Wow!
So why did Councilman Macksoud allow the full gambling resolution to go to the ballot without a public hearing? In Lincoln’s Comprehensive Plan under the Economic Development Element states that, “Any future use of this site (Twin River) shall decrease, not maintain or increase, the current impacts that the existing video gambling and wagering facility has on surrounding residential areas.” The Comprehensive Plan is designed to provide a basis for rational decision-making regarding the long-term physical development of the municipality. The definition of goals and policies relative to the distribution of future land uses, both public and private, forms the basis for land use decisions to guide the overall physical, economic, and social development of the municipality (Rhode Island General Laws, 45-22.2-5).
Further, all municipal land use decisions shall be in conformance with the locally-adopted municipal comprehensive plan (R.I.G.L. 45-22.2-13 Compliance and Implementation)
I guess Councilman Macksoud dropped the ball on that one!! Question is, was it on purpose or not?
City of Newport voted down a full casino because like Lincoln would be cut out of table game revenue. So Newport voted down the referendum and Lincoln voted for it because Councilman Macksoud and Administrator Almond said it was a good thing for Lincoln! Really? When the slippage clause runs out in less than three years how are you going to make up the financial loss? But all of this does not constitute a substantive change for Lincoln but a Hotel does?
I seriously question the ability/competency of Councilman Macksoud to handle such large scale issues on behalf of the people of Lincoln!

Now if this is not enough, where was Macksoud in 2005 and 2007 (when on the town council) when this statute was amended? Nowhere to be found !
§ 42-61.2-11 Effect of other laws and local ordinances. – The provisions of §§ 41-9-4 and 41-9-6 shall not apply to this chapter, and the provisions of this chapter shall take precedence over any local ordinances to the contrary. It is specifically acknowledged that the installation, operation and use of video lottery terminals by a pari-mutuel licensee, as authorized in this chapter, shall for all purposes be deemed a permitted use as defined in § 45-24-31. No city or town where video lottery terminals are authorized may seek to prevent the installation and use of said video lottery terminals by defining such as a prohibited use.
People of Lincoln need to pay attention and read between the lines!