Supervisors take stand against casinos


Betting that Schoharie County was going to be the home of the next Vegas-style casino in Upstate New York? Think again.
Supervisors late Friday afternoon squashed any thoughts of a casino being built in the county easily defeating a resolution supporting such a concept.
Gene Milone of Schoharie told supervisors that he introduced the idea in committee to get a definitive answer on the issue. He and other supervisors have been attending "round table" meetings in Albany and the issue has come up several times and county leaders needed to take a position on the issue.
If supervisors wanted to pursue having a casino built in the county, then they would have a lot of work ahead of them encouraging state representatives to locate a site in Schoharie County, Mr. Milone added.
"I'm not saying we should," he continued.
They do not have that problem, at least not for the foreseeable future as eight supervisors voted down a resolution extolling the virtues of building a casino in the county.
The resolution did not name a location, a point picked up on by Carlisle's Larry Bradt, who noted the resolution had "no sites, no thoughts."
Though the resolution pointed out advantages such as an increase in tourism "as well as a great addition of local jobs of our residents," Mr. Bradt reminded supervisors that "there is a downside. Everything's not peaches and cream."
Voters, he added, turned down gambling in the county several years ago and he had to "go with the people."
Fulton's Phil Skowfoe agreed that a casino in the county would have its "good and bad points" while Jim Buzon of Middleburgh noted that a positive vote on the resolution to locate and build a casino within the county would "keep the door open" to state officials.
Sean Jordan of Jefferson argued in favor of the resolution calling it a potential economic development project.
"We need to position ourselves and be ready."
The county, Earl VanWormer of Esperance countered, would have to make huge improvements to its infrastructure before entertaining the thought of building a casino. He outlined the many negatives of having a casino in the county such as crime.
He much preferred having a casino built in a nearby county. "I'd rather see benefit from the good stuff and let them have the bad stuff."
Carl Barbic of Seward, Amber Bleau of Wright, Mr. Bradt, Bill Federice of Conesville, Richard Lape of Richmondville, Leo McAllister of Cobleskill, Tony VanGlad of Gilboa, and Mr. VanWormer voted against the resolution.
"How many lists are we going to take our names off of?" Mr. Jordan asked supervisors after the vote.
"Maybe this is a list we want to be off," Mr. Federice answered.
The resolution could be reintroduced in the future, officials were told.