Normally the election that is coming up would be a routine municipal election, but this time around it could turn into the first opportunity for the local voters to cash in on their proposed casino plan since the new Massachusetts law has been passed. There are four candidates running for the same seat on the Foxborough Board of Selectmen. Two of which are open supporters that have been working with the Las Vegas operator Steve Wynn that has a proposed plan to build a new $1 billion resort on the leased land that is owned by the New England Patriots owner. The other two of the candidates strongly oppose the casino plan.
Since the anti casino side currently holds a 3-2 majority vote on the current five member board, this shows that it is important on who the public chooses on election day. The results mean that it could actually pass the casino, and strengthen their hold on the yes or no side. It is up in the air for grabs so a lot of voters have to choose wisely. This sticky situation points to a different kind of balance of power and this is during the time when the power of the casino vote moves from the Statehouse and ultimately in the hands of the town halls. The law that was passed last fall requires that a developer that is in the hopes of building a casino in the town or city needs to first negotiate the means with the host community agreement since they will have to spend money that would otherwise be used for extra police, road improvements, and other services for the community since they will need these things to deal with the new casino.
If they come to an agreement on an amount, the residents then vote on whether or not it is something that are on board with. Without these negotiations however, there is no agreement and without this, there is no vote. There is no mistake on who the candidates are running for the seats however. "That was the intent of the (law), primarily because there was so much concern about a casino being forced on a community without its consent," said Clyde Barrow, director of the Center for Policy Analysis at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. They want to make sure that some of the smaller communities have their vote as well on this plan to add a large scale casino into the mix. They do not want to struggle with everything that comes along with a casino, and by doing the agreement they can combat these negative effects.