Tuesday's casino hearing likely only chance


By David Avitabile

Unless they live in the Town of Cobleskill, it is likely that Schoharie County residents will have only one shot at giving their opinions on whether they want a casino to be built in the county.
The public hearing set for Tuesday in the Cobleskill-Richmondville auditorium is very likely to be the only county-wide hearing on the casino issue, according to Tony VanGlad, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
The county has "home rule" authority and can hold as many public hearing as officials want, Mr. VanGlad added Monday afternoon.
He noted that if the Howe Caverns site is chosen to house a casino for the Capital District, several more public hearings will be held.
Mr. VanGlad does not know how many people will attend the hearing, which is set for 7 to 9pm, but county officials are ready.
There will be a sign-up sheet on which they can give their opinion on the issue by checking a "yes or no" box on whether they want to have a casino in the county, according to Mr. VanGlad.
Speakers will be given one minute to voice their opinions, he said.
"It's going to be a hearing, not a public dialogue."
The hearing begin at 7pm and ends at 9pm.
"That'll be enough," Mr. VanGlad added.
In February, supervisors voted against supporting the siting of a casino in the county. After a presentation by Howe Caverns representatives in March, the board reversed its decision, though Howe Caverns was not mentioned in the resolution.
Mr. VanGlad does not think there would be another vote by the board if there were many opinions against the casino
He noted that there was a lot of discussion by supervisors before each vote in February and March.
Supervisors have also looked over the voting results from last November in which 51 percent of voters in the county were in favor of putting a casino in the Capital District.