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Mass Cities and Eminent Domain

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by wistahpatsfan, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    The City of Worcester is exploring the viability of using eminent domain to seize an old industrial property downtown that is allegedly the target of real estate developers who intend to use the parcel for a slot machine casino. The city has seen massive downtown transformation and redevelopment centered around City Hall and the refurbished Union Station train hub. There has also been extensive revitalization of the adjacent Canal District with restaurants and bars and nightclubs catering to adults and college crowds. This parcel is right between the two nodes of revitalization and the fear here is that a casino will be a magnet for "bad elements" that would hinder the city's efforts to revitalize its downtown. Interesting twist on the New London USSC decision supporting municipal use of eminent domain to promote it's urban planning.

    Whaddaya think, geniuses?

    NEW: Order calls for exploring eminent domain taking | Worcester Mag | The Alternative Source for News - Art - Dining - Nightlife | Daily Worcesteria
     
  2. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Living here in RI a slot casino is much different than full scale one.. we have two here(Newport and Lincoln) and everytime I have been they are sparse crowds, compared to Foxwoods or Mohegan sun.

    Not sure it attracts a criminal element, perhaps a poor element for those who pin their hopes on slot machines..

    Somewhat adverse to any casino in the middle of a city, particularly as the property you seem to be talking about can be very valuable in terms of long term development and economic solutions..

    Whatever happens needs to be part of a long term well thought out plan, with investors..

    Eminent domain always puzzled me, so do not understand that aspect..
     
  3. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    A few thoughts on any city considering building a casino....

    -Casino's are doing horribly the past 4-5 years. That not only includes Foxwoods, it also includes Vegas.

    -A depressed economy is not the time to think about getting into the casino business.

    -I think Worcester residents should get to vote on this measure. If they don't want it, it can't be built.

    My boss has our annual performance reviews in Las Vegas every February. The last 3 years the place has been virtually a ghost town.

    Went to Foxwoods twice over the past 5 months with my boss. Althought I hate gambling & casino's, I need to butter up my boss now & then. Anyway, Foxwoods was even more of a ghost town than Vegas. It was almost sad.
     
  4. DarrylS

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  5. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    I'm not only opposed to state-sponsored gambling but I see it as a poor tax from which the rich benefit. It's the same dynamic used in the state-sponsored lottery. Poor towns and cities get the casinos and Keno machines, pump tons of money into the state coffers, which then get redistributed to the wealthy towns that put nothing into that fund. I'd like to see how all the state revenue streams are distributed throughout the state relative to the cumulative income bracket of that town. The same people who biyotch about how the wealthy pay the most taxes might be interested in this relationship...or not.
     
  6. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I dislike the use of eminent domain. Here in Chelsea about 15 years or so ago, the city took a few blocks worth of property from a number of commercial owners via eminent domain. Some companies sold their business and closed up, some others obviously were forced to move. Some from buildings they owned, into space they had to lease. I know cuz one of the guys who had to give up his property, ended up renting space from us. In talking to him during their move in, and after, the entire process of eminent domain didn't sit right. The worst part is, 15 years later, the land they took is still an empty, undeveloped lot. The city bulldozed the properties, and there's still nothing there. That's criminal imo.

    The city has a permiting process I'm sure. They have zoning restrictions, etc. and all plans and proposals likely have to be approved. I don't see why the city would need to take over someone else's property by force, when they can simply vote up, or vote down, the proposed project. Eminent domain should be limited to situations where the state (government for that matter), needs the land in question for a specific public use. For example, a highway, bridge, school, etc. Or for abandoned properties even. It shouldn't take over someone's property because they simply want to. IMO at least.

    Anecdotal, but when I was in Vegas last year the locals were saying things were down. $14 drinks told me that volume was a problem.

    Bad economy means less gambling by most people. Also, more casino's mean less gambling money to do around. I hope the people in Massachusetts have considered that.

    You should see how many of my subsidized tenants play scratch tickets. Some come in saying they can't pay their $50 rent this month, but will pay it next month cuz they're broke. Meanwhile I can see the scratch tickets in their back pocket, on their tables when I go into an apartment, or in their hands when I drive to the buildings and they're outside. My real issue with state lottery, is the monopoly they have on gambling, as well as teh double standard that says "you and I can't gamble in our homes, or on a game, but the government can sell you gambling however, and whenever it wants". I despise that.

    As for who casino's benefit, I'm not sure I agree. What you say might genuinely be the case, but I'm not sure it is. When I look at Mohegan and Foxwoods for example, they seem to be in the middle of nowhere. Granted, I please ignorance on inner state Conn. geography, but it's never felt like I was in some poor city the few times I went to either one. Here in Massachusetts, we don't yet know where the 3 casino's will go. I know one will likely end up where I am for the most part. Be it in Everett, or at Suffolk Downs, but a lot of that is due to the land availability, and their location close to Boston. The other two, if they indeed make 3, might go in the burbs/boonies for all I know. Again, what you say could be 100% correct. I just don't know that it's the case.

    I'm not sure how money is redistributed. Is if given by pop for each town, or by town itself. i.e. There's $10 to give out, and 10 towns, so everyone gets $1, OR is it that town A has 7 people, town B 3, so $7 to town A and $3 to town B? I'm curious to know what the methodology and calculations are though. Anyone know?
     
  7. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    If you're right and poorer people do most of the gambling, then we have to blame them for CHOOSING to gamble. After all, it is a choice and no one is a victim here.

    I get very tired of people making certain groups of people out to be victims when the reality is, they're not. Sure, some in poverty may be victims, but being poor does not make one a victim.

    Wouldn't you agree?
     

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