Following is in response to a letter we received from Andrew Neiditz, Lakewood’s City Manager.
I challenge you to sign the petition to demonstrate that you are eager and willing to hear the people‚Äôs voice on the issue of casinos in Lakewood.
Find it at www.savelakewood.com. Surely you are not constrained by your position from allowing your own voice to be heard? I‚Äôve copied portions of your recent letter, along with questions. I look forward to a continuing dialogue.
The fact is that six other jurisdictions have as many or more (Tukwila, La Center, Everett, Kennewick, King County and Shoreline) than Lakewood‚Äôs four.
Do we ‚Äòwin‚Äô because we have fewer? Is casino-scoring a golf-like paradigm? Tell me how many casinos are Ok for you and for our city?
It is also a fact that Lakewood‚Äôs mini-casinos have generated very few calls for police service; they do a good job maintaining order.
Here‚Äôs something to consider ‚Äì maybe a different metric. A detailed study1 by Earl Grinois, a former senior economist for the Council of Economic Advisers, shows that social costs outweigh benefits by a factor of $190 to $34 ‚Äì or 5.6 to 1. That means that for every dollar in gambling revenue paid to the city, there are $5.60 in social and economic costs that must be borne by our citizens, city government and non-profit organizations.
Lakewood will have no choice but to develop two parallel budgets this fall.
And why is it a problem for the city and its officers and leaders to be held accountable for the impact of previous decisions that have been shown to be deleterious for the city and which do not reflect the voice of its citizens? Every corporate leader is required to submit budgets whenever the Board of Directors requires a new budget ‚Äì to reflect changing conditions and new goals. Why should city government complain about two budgets?
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