The City Council was left with more questions than answers when Wynn Resorts announced its intention to sell the property at Encore Boston Harbor to Realty Income in San Diego for $1.7 billion. Therefore, Ward 4 Councillor Jimmy Tri Le requested additional information as to how the city has been using its share of the casino’s tax revenue and how those figures may change under the new ownership.
Ward 1 Councillor Wayne Matewsky was particularly surprised by Encore’s lack of communication with the council, adding that he was unaware of the transaction until he read about it in the newspaper. “They’re on another planet over there; they’re not part of the program as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “I find it very insulting – there was no communication.”
Matewsky also said the transaction seems suspicious with Encore being open for less than three years. “I’m in the dark; something just doesn’t seem right regarding the casino,” he said.
Under the terms of the agreement, Wynn will enter into a triple-net lease with Realty Income for Encore. Therefore, Wynn will continue to oversee the operation of the five-star resort and casino. The gaming giant will also continue to pay the real estate taxes as well as the insurance and maintenance costs. There will also be no changes to the Community Host Agreement between the City of Everett and the resort casino.
The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Title 42 immigration
In other news, Ward 2 Councillor Stephanie Martins was the lead sponsor of a Resolution calling for the federal government to “cease deportations under Title 42.”
However, as Martins began to speak on the Resolution, Le interrupted her. “This item is a breach of the City Council Rules – Rule 18,” he said.
In response, Martins said the Resolution was a “symbolic statement” and did not need to be referred to a committee. She also said Everett’s large population of Haitian immigrants should be allowed to follow the proper process of becoming a legal resident.
Title 42 of the United States Code states in part: “The Surgeon General, in accordance with regulations approved by the President, shall have the power to prohibit, in whole or in part, the introduction of persons and property from such countries or places as he shall designate in order to avert such danger, and for such period of time as he may deem necessary for such purpose.”
Ward 6 Councillor Alfred Lattanzi, a co-sponsor of the Resolution, said there have been instances where immigrants have been turned away without being afforded the opportunity to prove that they are free of any contagious illness. “Apparently, some of the immigrants aren’t allowed due process,” he said. “Some of these people are just getting refused.”
However, Le interjected once again. “It’s a futile debate; this is not the right time and place for this,” he said.
Martins continued to push the importance of the Resolution. “It doesn’t matter to you, but it matters to other people,” she said to Le.
Although the council voted 6-4 in favor of suspending Rule 18 to allow further discussion, the requirement of a two-thirds vote was not met. Therefore, the Resolution was automatically referred to the council’s Committee on Legislative Affairs and Elections.