Given the truncated process afforded the people of
Plainville and the surrounding communities to research and review Penn National
Gaming before the referendum vote, I am requesting the following:
are many citizens interested in giving testimony — written or in person — about
a slots license at Plainridge. Because Plainville was given such short shrift in
the referendum process, and because our opinion was not solicited for the
adjudicatory hearing for suitability (yet another way the MGC's regulations cut
citizens out of the process), we should receive more than the usual scant and
completely unworkable 48 hours notice before the slots licensing hearing. I
request at least one full week for citizens to make plans to attend the hearing
and/or to write and send their testimony. PLEASE take into account that some of
our citizens do NOT have access to or knowledge about computers, and so will be
submitting their testimony in writing by mail after they are notified of the
hearing. Please allow adequate time for this.
• Given that residents of
Plainville and the surrounding communities are more likely to participate if the
slots license hearing is more accessible and doesn't require the cost of a round
trip train ride ($18.50 RT) or parking ($12/day), the public hearings for the
slots license should be held at a location that is more central and less
expensive to access than the Boston Convention Center.
• Holding a
hearing at 9:30 in the morning, or even 1:30 in the afternoon, certainly works
well for the MGC and the developers, but it does not work for the vast majority
of interested citizens who also have a stake in the process. An attempt should
be made to hold hearings at a time when more members of the public can attend.
In the case of the slots license, perhaps a weekend hearing date would be best.
• Please upload the video of the October 7th Slot Application Public
Presentations as soon as possible; the members of the public who could not
attend or access the meeting need as much time as possible to review and
research Penn National's plan before testifying. Also, please provide a FULL
online transcript of the October 7th meeting well before any hearing regarding
the slots license takes place, as well as making copies of the transcript
available by mail.
Finally, I have tried to sign up for notices,
newsletters, etc. on the MGC website at least a half dozen times, but have
received absolutely nothing. I get this response: "Thanks for contacting us! We
will get in touch with you shortly," but there is never any follow up. Is the
sign-up working? I wonder how many other people are having the same experience
and therefore missing opportunities to comment or attend meetings. Considering
the other ways in which citizens are seriously marginalized in this process, I
wonder if this "glitch" is by accident or intention. In either case, I hope it
gets cleared up soon.