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Area Selectmen Team Up to Fight Casino

Town leaders from Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway and Ashland met last night to discuss working together.

With the casino proposal for Milford working its way though the Massachusetts Gaming Commission's process, surrounding communities are hoping they will be a more formidable opponent by banding together.

"It's going to be a tough and long battle," Joseph Magnani, a selectman from Ashland, said.

To begin the process selectmen from Ashland, Medway, Holliston and Hopkinton met last night to discuss their ability and willingness to join an intercommunity agreement uniting them in vision and sharing in the costs.

The first step for the towns is putting together information on what the impact will be on each town. Included in that are water, roads and wastewater as well as the impact on police and other government agencies. Many of these studies will be similar from town to town, and the selectmen hope to share the cost and prevent redundant studies.

During the discussion Medway Selectman Dennis Crowley asked the others what they thought the odds of a casino coming to Milford were and how much taxpayer money each town was willing to put toward fighting against a possible "red herring."

Ben Palleiko, a Hopkinton Selectman, responded to Crowley's question by saying that it doesn't matter what the odds are, if the casino goes in he wants to say he did everything he could to fight for his town.

Ultimately, the group decided that one member of from each board of selectmen would meet together to make decisions for the group.

Each town would also set aside money to pay for an attorney to represent the group in discussions with the casino.

"I think that by presenting a uniform front we are all better served in any conversations with the developers," Palleiko said.

The representatives will meet again in a few weeks to discuss the wording of the intercommunity agreement and have it signed off by each board.

gamingfacts April 25, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Forming an "Anti-Casino Coalition" was not necessary period. Areas designated as surrounding communities will have their chance to negotiate with the developers if it should get that far and that is well known. The tactics employed by Hopkinton and Holliston to try and discredit, disparage , and shut down this project for months before letting the process work are disgraceful and dishonest attempts to subvert the process of the host community vote.
Jeff Weise April 26, 2013 at 10:31 AM
No one is denying Milford's ultimate decision power. All we ask is that decision be based on fact vs emotion. The company with enough money to build a $1 billion facility in town will use all of their vast resources to tell you why this is a good thing. What harm is there in also listening to the people people who will have to live with with the consequences if the company is wrong?
Deb Nilan April 26, 2013 at 01:16 PM
Jeff, I learned my lesson the hard way and will not be drinking the Kool Aid that you are trying to push on people. I have to live with the consequences of having a substation in my backyard due to Hopkintons 'facts'. No one from Hopkinton listened or cared about my neighbors or myself. No one from Hopkinton cared about what the "impact will be on each town. Included in that are water, roads and wastewater" As long as the substation wasn't in their backyard. Hopkinton is famous for that. We have to live with the "consequences" of Hopkintons decisions. And as Jim so rightfully pointed out Hopkinton had the nerve to sue us at one point. So is this what the funds for an attorney are for....to help Milford listen? "This is going to be a tough and long battle"..more 'listening words'. Do you really think we believe that you don't plan on trying to get your way again? As I stated before the hypocrisy and double standards that Hopkinton has is evident. I am leaning towards not wanting a casino in my town, but as Jim so eloquently stated i "can't help but think it would be poetic justice if a casino did get built and Hopkinton bore the brunt".
Barry April 26, 2013 at 01:47 PM
I am a Hopkinton resident and have been since 1984. One of this town's biggest problems is the people who "run the town" still believe that we live in the 1980s or early 1900s. I wish I had the money and knowledge to build a time-machine and send them all back to the 1900s. The substation should have been built in Hopkinton. Imagine the nerve of EMC wanting power. What next - sewage? I guess EMC didn't realize they were seting their headquarters in a time-warp. I am ashamed of Hopkinton.
Deb Nilan April 26, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Thank you for being so honest Barry.....You should run for office!

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