If the Mashpee Wampanoags can't honor their contracts should they be allowed to operate a casino? That's what Middleboro officials are asking in a letter sent to the National Indian Gaming Commission and the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Middleboro officials are upset that after 3 years of support for a casino in their town that tribe has suddenly decided to abandon those plans to build one here in Fall River. The move puts into question the future of 500 acres of land that the tribe is attempting to put into trust and the town officials believed would be the location for economic development.
By calling into question the tribe's ability to honor its contracts and basically questioning how trustworthy the tribe is, Middleboro officials should be setting off all sorts of alarms for Fall River officials to take notice of. After all despite all the talk about drafting up agreements that will protect the city THIS tribe has already walked away from one agreement. What's to stop them from doing it again?
Why wasn't this an issue for the Flanagan administration?
Well it could be because THIS administration seems to have the same modus operandi. The tribe simply walks away from one agreement simply because new leadership decides to, without any consideration for the other parties involved or all the work that had already taken place. The Mayor has made similar decisions in regard to replacing the BioPark with the Casino and pulling back funding on the YMCA's affordable housing project. Flanagan has pulled the rug out on UMass Dartmouth officials and officials at the Y in the same way the Mashpee tribe has left Middleboro officials standing there like the girl who got stood up on prom night!
I'm not sure if we should be concerned about the tribe or if the tribe should be concerned about us! I suppose it's a match made in heaven. You know, birds of a feather flock together.