The decision of whether to have a casino located at Suffolk Downs will be decided next Tuesday by the Revere voters.
In the last few weeks, the campaigns both for the casino and against have been intensifying.
The major campaigns undertaken by both groups speak strongly about the importance of this issue. Local voters have been given a wide range of arguments by each side.
The casino question is not as evil as some would say, nor is it the perfect solution. A casino would have its benefits and drawbacks.
We are not going to debate the moral question of whether Massachusetts should allow casinos. The Governor and State Legislature have decided this question.
We are not going to debate whether the Greater Boston area should have a casino. Again that decision has been decided.
We are not going to debate the possible choice of a casino in Everett less than five minutes from Revere as the voters in that community have approved that decision.
As a newspaper, our responsibility is to present both sides of the issue in an unbiased format. As we have done in the past months and continue to do, we offer both sides of the issue and we encourage our readers to read the stories on page 1 of this week’s newspaper, as well as the letters to the editor on this page.
In the last few days, there has been discussion that outside help has been recruited to try to bolster the anti-casino effort. We do not know that this is the case, but rather than judge by the amount of sign holding, we encourage all voters to seek out our city leaders starting with Mayor Dan Rizzo or city councilors or school committee members and get their views on the casino.
As we stated, there are two sides to this issue. Certainly, the allure of hundreds of millions of dollars is very appealing, but only to be accepted at a certain price. However, at the end of the day, we believe a casino located in Revere has more positive impacts rather than drawbacks for our city and our residents.
We view the proposed road improvements as helping our residents and improving their daily commute. We view the money earmarked for our senior citizens as helping them with programs that only much wealthier communities can now afford. We view the millions of dollars from the casino project into the city coffers as, not only helping to fix our sewer and water systems that are under court orders to repair, but also helping our taxpayers since our local tax burden will be lessened. We view the money being earmarked for the youth of city as a key element. A new youth community center, as well as money for local school programs, will only enrich our youth and provide a firm foundation for their lives. One only looks to Worcester, Central Falls, Rhode Island and other modestly-sized New England cities and see the waste of lives that are lost to drugs or in gang warfare. These problems could be headed toward our community without prevention. But prevention comes at a cost that is almost entirely funded by local taxes, unless Revere officials can find other supplementary revenues.
Today, our leaders are struggling to make local taxes pay for the necessities of running a city. Today, the programs that can provide a higher quality of life for all of Revere’s citizens that other wealthier communities are able to fund themselves have been shelved for our residents. So we watch and wait hoping that next year will be better, and maybe we can afford these programs. However, this scenario of waiting years could all change immediately with the influx of the casino revenues.
But perhaps the greatest benefit of a casino would be good paying jobs for some of our residents. Studies have shown that having a steady job and earning decent wage is the single most important quality of life issue. A job brings self-respect and maturity. A job makes one a better person.
The decision on Tuesday to approve or to reject a casino is not an easy choice for local voters. However, the voters of Revere will decide and we can ask for no better judges. So get out and vote!