Present: City Council Chair Ferrera, Councilors Williams, Allen & Luna, Mr.
Pepin, Dr. Markey, Mr. Thomas, Dr. Rennix, Mr. Wellington, Chair Meara, and
Meeting called to order at 5:00 PM. By Chairwoman Meara.
Public Speak Out announced. No speakers.
Council President Ferrera started a discussion of items that should be forwarded to the City for their consideration as part of a resolve to provide the mayor with what the council believes important for consideration of inclusion in the Host Agreement(s) (HA). He believes communication of this information will help prevent delays in ratification of HA by the Council.
Included were the following:
The HA should be a public document
Public disclosure of all documents, plans and reports
Development of scoring methods
30-day minimum for Council to review HA
Quarterly updates to the full City Council
Local hiring (minimum %ages)
City compliance officer
Workforce development detail
Training for job candidates with disabilities, to include drop-outs
Local purchasing and contracts
Small business impact, incentives, rewards, partnerships
Crisis intervention site on location for intervention and stabilization of
Public safety fund
Traffic plan detail
Early education mitigation with monitoring
Benefits to neighborhoods
WI-FI to Springfield residents, particularly students and the elderly
Additional matters brought up for consideration of inclusion are:
Senior center for the elderly
Assure that bingo games will be held in the development.
Discussion regarding the neighborhoods being kept apprised of the details of the HA(s) prior to the vote and assurances that promises will be kept.
Discussion regarding the City Council providing information to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission during their public comment period prior to promulgating regulations on the issue of CORI and credit checks for prospective employees. Councilor Williams suggests advising Springfield’s issues regarding being an older industrialized city with an urban population with special challenges.
Discussion regarding independent counsel for the City Council due to the nature and level of expertise required to appraise the HA(s).
Discussion to require a minimum of 30-days for study by the council after delivery of the HA(s) and the City Council ratification vote.
Discussion regarding development costs included in the project for the relocation of private individuals or businesses in addition to being compensated for their property, also improvement costs. Do these expenditures utilize benefits that might otherwise be available citywide?
Discussion regarding site visits to 5 locations, two operated by each development company and the fifth to a site comparable to Springfield. Brought up were Bethlehem and Allentown and also Detroit and Columbus, Ohio.
Next City Council Casino Site Committee meeting will be a joint meeting with the City Council on Wednesday February 6, 2013 at 5:30 PM as the City’s Casino Consultants are prepared to give a briefing.