~ Advocate Commentary ~ “Once-In-A-Lifetime” Opportunity for Revere

This coming Tuesday’s vote on the casino issue is absolutely the most important election in the city’s history simply because it is so vital to our future as a community.

Tuesday’s vote represents a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to secure and stabilize Revere’s finances so that our children and their children can have a city that is truly prosperous and affordable …. a city that is able to provide so much more in services and programs for its residents without placing a financial burden on its taxpayers …. a city that will thrive instead of just surviving from crisis to crisis.

The benefits of the Suffolk Downs/Mohegan Sun proposal are very real and so desperately needed in this city of ours. Older urban communities like Revere are struggling mightily nowadays just to stay afloat and the future isn’t all that bright. Just consider the cut-backs in “local aid” from the state that are becoming more of the rule than the exception.

But now we have a chance … truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity … to bring about real change in our community – change that will meaningfully affect, in a positive way, every individual and family living in Revere.

The Suffolk Downs/Mohegan Sun casino is definitely a panacea for our city’s fiscal dilemma.

The casino would generate an “upfront” payment of $33-million to the city of Revere! And then Revere would receive annual payments from the casino of between $25 million to $30 million a year!

Just think about that. That’s real money that can get real things done here in the city.

Things like pumping an extra $4-million into our public safety programs. We’d be able to make Revere safer by putting more cops on the street and we’d be able to replenish the fire department’s depleting manpower.

How about the extra million dollars a year from the casino to run the local schools? That’s music to the ears of dedicated career professionals like Supt. Dr. Paul Dakin and ex-supt. and current school committee member Carol Tye, and it surely must be music to the ears of parents with kids in the local school system.

How about the million dollar allotment to establish a new youth center?  And just maybe we’ll finally be able to get a brand new Revere High School on our own because the state won’t give us the money needed to update the present school.

The Revere casino will not only be a huge money generator for the city – it will also be a magnificent addition to our community.

The resort-style casino will offer 4,000 slot machines, 100 table games (blackjack, baccarat roulette, craps) and a 20-table poker room.

In addition, there will be two hotels (a primary hotel and a boutique hotel), totaling 500 rooms, and also casual/fine dining and entertainment facilities. Plus, there’ll be a huge spa; 38,000 square feet of meeting/conference space; and a 950-seat ballroom.

It’s going to take a lot of well-paid employees to get the casino built and then to run it.

There will be 2,500 construction jobs and 4,000 permanent employees once the casino is open for business – and Revere residents are going to be given “preference” for many of those jobs.  It’s part of the written “host” agreement that Mayor Dan Rizzo got the developers to sign.

Fiscal stability, property tax relief at long last, improved public safety, better financed schools, expanded services and programs, and jobs, jobs, jobs for our people.

That’s what this casino plan means to Revere.

That’s why this is the most important election in Revere history, barring none.