Editor, The Spotlight;
On June 27, 2013, speaking from the floor of the New York State Assembly, Assembly Member Patricia Fahy said, “...casino gambling was not my idea of economic development. I have many personal oppositions to this form of economic development and that in terms of the 109th district, the district I represent, if this bill were to impact the 109th district it would be a very, very easy no vote for me.” Ms. Fahy then voted in favor of a bill to allow the proposal to expand casino gambling in New York to go to the voters in November-- Proposition One.
How quickly things change.
As reported in the Times Union last month, (“Albany casino proposed,” March 21, 2014), Ms. Fahy met with Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan regarding a proposed casino development off of Exit 23 of the Thruway. After that meeting, Ms. Fahy made positive comments regarding this proposal. Among other things, Ms. Fahy opined that the she favored the Exit 23 casino proposal over a competing proposal to build a casino in Saratoga Springs. Ms. Fahy’s newfound affinity for a casino development project in the 109th Assembly District is a complete 180-degree pivot from her adamant opposition to casino gambling that she expressed less than a year ago.
Bethlehem voters said “No” to casino gambling in a big way last November when 61% of us (throughout 26 of Bethlehem’s 31 election districts) opposed Proposition One. Ms. Fahy appears to be brushing aside the concerns and the expressed will of her Bethlehem constituents. Support for the Exit 23 casino, something that will surely impact the Town of Bethlehem, a community in her district, seems to have become a very, very easy “Yes” vote for Ms. Fahy.
The development of a casino on our doorstep will fray the fabric of the Bethlehem community for generations to come. The majority of Bethlehem voters oppose casino gambling development for a number of reasons, both philosophical and practical; from the social and economic cost on families affected by compulsive gambling to increased traffic and crime. We don’t want it. And Ms. Fahy isn’t listening.
Lets be clear — if the Exit 23 casino project goes forward, count us among those in the Bethlehem community from whom Ms. Fahy will have lost trust and confidence.
Carlton Gutman, Delmar
Sean Raleigh, Bethlehem