City Council rolls dice and puts rejected casino proposal on ballot again

Richmond casino proposal could come back for a second vote

Urban One’s proposed casino and resort on Philip Morris-owned land just off Interstate 95. The Richmond City Council voted Monday to put the project to a second vote by residents. (BizSense file)

Less than three months after voters narrowly rejected a proposed casino in Richmond, city councilmembers decided Monday to ask them to reconsider, this time with a promise to cut the real estate tax rate as a sweetener.

The council voted 8-1 to revive the city’s arrangement with developer Urban One and put a second referendum on the ballot this fall on its proposed One Casino + Resort on the Southside.

A majority of councilmembers agreed at last night’s meeting that the $565 million proposal is too good of a deal to pass up, contending that Urban One’s camp didn’t show all their cards the first time around – specifically, details of the project’s impacts on the city.

Katherine Jordan of the Second District was the sole dissenter in the council vote, which authorizes the city to petition the circuit court to put the same question on the ballot this November. Voters rejected the first proposal in November with 51.4 percent against the project.

What would be different this time, councilmembers said, is that more details would be shared as to how the project would benefit the city specifically, through economic impacts, job creation and other effects.

Just prior to the meeting, the city issued a release listing those impacts, including a commitment to a 2 cent reduction in the city real estate tax rate, and $560 million in capital investment specifically to Richmond Public Schools and city projects. That’s if the second referendum passes. Urban One also had committed to pay the city $25 million upfront, and the project was projected to create 1,500 permanent jobs and 3,000 construction jobs.

Councilmembers also stressed that the project would not involve financial commitments from the city and contended that many voters were misinformed that they would be helping to pay for it. Council President Cynthia Newbille said that would not be the case.

“This is one of the rare occasions where there is an economic development project before this city with zero city investment and 100 percent city return and city benefit,” said Newbille, who represents the Seventh District.

Responding to arguments from some speakers in a public hearing that a second referendum would be undemocratic and going against the will of voters, Newbille added, “How many times have we taken legislation back, year after year, to try to get an improved outcome for our citizens and our city?

“I do hear the concerns, but I do in this instance absolutely support this opportunity.”

About 20 people spoke at the hearing, with half in support of a second referendum and half against. The hearing and meeting were held virtually, the first time since July that the council has met virtually for a regular session. Councilmember Kristen Nye (formerly Larson) said the move was made in light of the surge in cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Allan-Charles Chipman, a Sixth District resident who ran for council in 2020, called a second vote this November “both an anti-democratic recall referendum and an act of voter suppression.”

“The passage of this legislation would defy the expressed will of the people of Richmond,” Chipman said. “While double or nothing is an acceptable tool for someone who lost a bet in a casino, double or nothing is not an acceptable option for the members of this body who lost a bet on a casino.”

Third District resident Debbie Rowe said councilmembers voted last year to move that referendum forward on the basis of letting the people decide. “Well, we did,” she said, “and a majority of city voters said no.”

City Council members during the meeting, which was held virtually because of COVID-19. (Screenshot)

Councilmember Jordan, who was likewise the sole dissenter in that vote, said after Monday’s hearing that she hopes the project can be a success, but she wouldn’t vote to support it.

“I realize I’m the outlier. That’s not a role I like, but I think we all have to vote our conscience,” Jordan said. “I hope I’m wrong. I hope the concerns are unfounded and this ends up being an amazing project. Certainly, there are a lot of wonderful things about it. I just have my personal reservations.”

Jordan added, “I also would say that if it had passed and the opposition was pushing for a revote, I wouldn’t have supported that either.”

Supporters in the hearing included Mark Hourigan, CEO of local contracting and construction firm Hourigan, who described the project as vital to Richmond’s economic vitality and ability to provide quality-of-life services to citizens.

“Our city has missed several opportunities recently to get the kind of revenue these services need, and I don’t want to see it happen again,” Hourigan said. “There is simply no other economic development deal that provides this kind of upside with virtually no cost or downside risk to the city.”

Urban One co-owner Alfred Liggins also spoke at the hearing, stating the casino would be one part of a larger entertainment complex to include dining, a four-star hotel and a sound stage to benefit film and TV production in the region.

On the issue of a second vote, Liggins said, “Many referendums are reheard, particularly if the project and the benefits of the project have changed. I applaud the administration and council for starting the discussion tonight on the main issue I heard from people of where the dollars are actually going, who was going to benefit.”

Councilmembers also responded to the argument that a second vote would be undemocratic.

“Is this undemocratic? No,” said Michael Jones of the Ninth District. “We are following the democratic process. We are well within the confines of the law, and I believe we should move in accordance to that.”

Added Andreas Addison of the First District: “Referendums happen on cycle and repeat. They are recalled again all across the country. It is not undemocratic. It is actually part of the process of making things better.”

Urban One, a media company based in Maryland, proposed the 300,000-square-foot complex on land they planned to purchase from Philip Morris at 2001 Walmsley Blvd. The casino would be managed by Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, which owns Colonial Downs and the Rosie’s Gaming Emporium locations in Richmond and across the state.

Gwendolyn Boatright, a resident of the Eighth District where the project would be built, said she voted against the casino in November but would support it based on what she’s learned about the project since.

“I was one of the ones who was among the 51 percent. My thought process was that we had Rosie’s and we do not need another gambling casino,” Boatright said, adding that she convinced her son to vote against it as well.

Having learned about the proposed tax reduction and other details, Boatright said, “If I had to vote all over again, I would vote yes and convince my son to do the same.”

Eighth District councilmember Reva Trammell led the council in requesting a second referendum, which coincides with a competing effort from state Sen. Joe Morrissey to prevent the do-over and add Petersburg as an eligible host city for a casino, rather than Richmond.

Richmond casino proposal could come back for a second vote

Urban One’s proposed casino and resort on Philip Morris-owned land just off Interstate 95. The Richmond City Council voted Monday to put the project to a second vote by residents. (BizSense file)

Less than three months after voters narrowly rejected a proposed casino in Richmond, city councilmembers decided Monday to ask them to reconsider, this time with a promise to cut the real estate tax rate as a sweetener.

The council voted 8-1 to revive the city’s arrangement with developer Urban One and put a second referendum on the ballot this fall on its proposed One Casino + Resort on the Southside.

A majority of councilmembers agreed at last night’s meeting that the $565 million proposal is too good of a deal to pass up, contending that Urban One’s camp didn’t show all their cards the first time around – specifically, details of the project’s impacts on the city.

Katherine Jordan of the Second District was the sole dissenter in the council vote, which authorizes the city to petition the circuit court to put the same question on the ballot this November. Voters rejected the first proposal in November with 51.4 percent against the project.

What would be different this time, councilmembers said, is that more details would be shared as to how the project would benefit the city specifically, through economic impacts, job creation and other effects.

Just prior to the meeting, the city issued a release listing those impacts, including a commitment to a 2 cent reduction in the city real estate tax rate, and $560 million in capital investment specifically to Richmond Public Schools and city projects. That’s if the second referendum passes. Urban One also had committed to pay the city $25 million upfront, and the project was projected to create 1,500 permanent jobs and 3,000 construction jobs.

Councilmembers also stressed that the project would not involve financial commitments from the city and contended that many voters were misinformed that they would be helping to pay for it. Council President Cynthia Newbille said that would not be the case.

“This is one of the rare occasions where there is an economic development project before this city with zero city investment and 100 percent city return and city benefit,” said Newbille, who represents the Seventh District.

Responding to arguments from some speakers in a public hearing that a second referendum would be undemocratic and going against the will of voters, Newbille added, “How many times have we taken legislation back, year after year, to try to get an improved outcome for our citizens and our city?

“I do hear the concerns, but I do in this instance absolutely support this opportunity.”

About 20 people spoke at the hearing, with half in support of a second referendum and half against. The hearing and meeting were held virtually, the first time since July that the council has met virtually for a regular session. Councilmember Kristen Nye (formerly Larson) said the move was made in light of the surge in cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Allan-Charles Chipman, a Sixth District resident who ran for council in 2020, called a second vote this November “both an anti-democratic recall referendum and an act of voter suppression.”

“The passage of this legislation would defy the expressed will of the people of Richmond,” Chipman said. “While double or nothing is an acceptable tool for someone who lost a bet in a casino, double or nothing is not an acceptable option for the members of this body who lost a bet on a casino.”

Third District resident Debbie Rowe said councilmembers voted last year to move that referendum forward on the basis of letting the people decide. “Well, we did,” she said, “and a majority of city voters said no.”

City Council members during the meeting, which was held virtually because of COVID-19. (Screenshot)

Councilmember Jordan, who was likewise the sole dissenter in that vote, said after Monday’s hearing that she hopes the project can be a success, but she wouldn’t vote to support it.

“I realize I’m the outlier. That’s not a role I like, but I think we all have to vote our conscience,” Jordan said. “I hope I’m wrong. I hope the concerns are unfounded and this ends up being an amazing project. Certainly, there are a lot of wonderful things about it. I just have my personal reservations.”

Jordan added, “I also would say that if it had passed and the opposition was pushing for a revote, I wouldn’t have supported that either.”

Supporters in the hearing included Mark Hourigan, CEO of local contracting and construction firm Hourigan, who described the project as vital to Richmond’s economic vitality and ability to provide quality-of-life services to citizens.

“Our city has missed several opportunities recently to get the kind of revenue these services need, and I don’t want to see it happen again,” Hourigan said. “There is simply no other economic development deal that provides this kind of upside with virtually no cost or downside risk to the city.”

Urban One co-owner Alfred Liggins also spoke at the hearing, stating the casino would be one part of a larger entertainment complex to include dining, a four-star hotel and a sound stage to benefit film and TV production in the region.

On the issue of a second vote, Liggins said, “Many referendums are reheard, particularly if the project and the benefits of the project have changed. I applaud the administration and council for starting the discussion tonight on the main issue I heard from people of where the dollars are actually going, who was going to benefit.”

Councilmembers also responded to the argument that a second vote would be undemocratic.

“Is this undemocratic? No,” said Michael Jones of the Ninth District. “We are following the democratic process. We are well within the confines of the law, and I believe we should move in accordance to that.”

Added Andreas Addison of the First District: “Referendums happen on cycle and repeat. They are recalled again all across the country. It is not undemocratic. It is actually part of the process of making things better.”

Urban One, a media company based in Maryland, proposed the 300,000-square-foot complex on land they planned to purchase from Philip Morris at 2001 Walmsley Blvd. The casino would be managed by Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, which owns Colonial Downs and the Rosie’s Gaming Emporium locations in Richmond and across the state.

Gwendolyn Boatright, a resident of the Eighth District where the project would be built, said she voted against the casino in November but would support it based on what she’s learned about the project since.

“I was one of the ones who was among the 51 percent. My thought process was that we had Rosie’s and we do not need another gambling casino,” Boatright said, adding that she convinced her son to vote against it as well.

Having learned about the proposed tax reduction and other details, Boatright said, “If I had to vote all over again, I would vote yes and convince my son to do the same.”

Eighth District councilmember Reva Trammell led the council in requesting a second referendum, which coincides with a competing effort from state Sen. Joe Morrissey to prevent the do-over and add Petersburg as an eligible host city for a casino, rather than Richmond.

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Michelle Reynolds
Michelle Reynolds
5 months ago

I’m disgusted by our council.

Is this going to be an election day ballot referendum on a November ballot? Or are they going to try to push this through for a vote on some random primary day in June when low turnout is likely?

John White
John White
5 months ago

This is so embarrassing. What a slap in the face of all the Richmonders who performed their civic duty and voted this past fall. I guess we’re just too stupid for our own good.

kay christensen
kay christensen
5 months ago

Richmond is city chock full of accomplished, business savvy, well-educated people. I am overwhelmingly amazed that we manage to vote for incompetent buffoons without fail. It’s past time to purge this council.

Brian Hutton
Brian Hutton
5 months ago

RECALL TODAY

Betsy gardner
Betsy gardner
5 months ago

Good luck with that. Most bring home the bacon to their districts through sprinkling money around on pet projects, picnics and whatnot with a fostering of an “us against them” mentality. We’ve always had business savvy, well-educated people in all of these districts…I’ve given up hope on them running. They are smart enough to know to stay away from that cesspool.

JORDAN TUCKER
JORDAN TUCKER
5 months ago

And have been doing so for at least the last 35 years. It’s laughable

Ryan Patrick
Ryan Patrick
5 months ago

Corruption

Dr. Abe C. Gomez
Dr. Abe C. Gomez
5 months ago

How are these people in office? What a disgrace…

Mark Kittrell
Mark Kittrell
5 months ago

Katherine Jordan, be strong.

karl hott
karl hott
5 months ago

The referendum was rejected by Richmond voters despite a well-funded attempt to pass it. This time there will be a well-organized initiative to defeat the proposal and it will fail twice. Then we will unseat the current councilpersons who defied the decision of their constituents. Entirely embarrassing and unnecessary.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago
Reply to  karl hott

….. you will unseat them if you legally reside in their districts, maybe… When Petersburg nearly fell over and sank I told people who were organizing to “get rid of” certain councilmembers “That person may not be a good representative of a smart and able locale — but take a look at the people in that district — you need to find a better candidate from the people who live there and back them, otherwise, get used to what you’ve got and don’t waste your energy making noise.” The truth was, all those people making noise did not live in… Read more »

Brian Hutton
Brian Hutton
5 months ago

Start 8 recall petitions ASAP. Demand the General Assembly pass a law prohibiting this. Write to the Circuit Court demanding the petition be rejected. Tell your council members YOU ARE THEIR BOSS, they are not yours.

Alan Wilson
Alan Wilson
5 months ago

Proverbial definition of insanity on full display…

Brian Hutton
Brian Hutton
5 months ago

this time they’ll lie more to make it more believable

Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
5 months ago
Reply to  Brian Hutton

Got that right!

Keith Young
Keith Young
5 months ago

Yes!!! Good for city council! I am glad that the backward thinking, tired , played out mentality of some of the citizens did not prevail. I don’t care who I upset. The fact of the matter is there will be a second shot at a black owned entity putting down roots in this city. It only makes sense as much as African Americans have put into this city to build it.Whether people will admit it or not (which they won’t) it is all about once again trying to suppress black economic growth even though it makes complete economic sense. The… Read more »

Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith Young

Where is this BLACK owned coming from??? Urban One is PARTNERING with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) and no one has shared the ownership percentages or revenues breakdowns. P2E has one of the whitest Board of Directors. Take a look at their Board and leadership. Managers at emporium locations are PoC but yeah sorry this another fraud that they keep trying to use to drum up support. https://www.p2e.com/leadership

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael Dodson

It’s a way to try to silence disagreement, nothing more.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael Dodson

Not really — I don’t know enough of the details but it COULD be a very successful venture with the combo of Media pull, entertainment and gambling, of course. A rather predatory business — I think the point that people like Mr. Young are trying to make, to the degree that they believe what they are saying is “we need to own the businesses that prey on “our community” or individuals that look like us, or whatever” In a certain sense, it makes some sense, and is part of a long history of “Black Sepratism” since at least Marcus Garvey.… Read more »

karl hott
karl hott
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith Young

How is this a race issue? The majority of Richmonders voted against the referendum and there is no place on a ballot for voters to self-identify their ethnicity, color, etc. Please explain how we honor the legacy of Richmond’s African-American ancestors by building a colossal gambling emporium.

Roger Turner
Roger Turner
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith Young

I actually hate the lottery, not due to the fact it’s a form of gambling. I just hate how it was sold to the public. In almost every case the lottery was promoted with “all proceeds going to schools”. The average person thought that would be “additional” money going to schools. The reality is that in almost every case the state contributed less money from the general fund than before the lottery was passed, and the schools ended up with no more funding than they would have received if the lottery was not passed.

Betsy gardner
Betsy gardner
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith Young

Again, not a race issue. God knows we would love to see black owned entertainment venues (with no casino attached), manufacturing, development, banking, etc. But this thing is another city boondoggle where a handful reap the profit and the community is left holding the bag. If not on the water or at a location like Vegas, Casinos loose their luster fast and that not so lovely stretch on 95 in Southside will be stuck with it. Richmond deserves better than this scam…ESPECIALLY its Black Community.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago
Reply to  Betsy gardner

Yeah, I am not sure I have EVER met ANYONE was against more successful “black owned” enterprises —- what people tend to be against is people forcing, esp cities, other people to accept putting a thumb on the scales to give the such entities contracts they could not win otherwise.

It would be nice if more of these companies had such great reputations that they could win the bids and do the job under-budget and under-time.

Brian Hutton
Brian Hutton
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith Young

There’s too much stupid in your post to provide an adequate response. Suffice it to say you are absolutely clueless.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago
Reply to  Brian Hutton

Well, that will not help someone who thinks with ideology see things differently!

Brian Hutton
Brian Hutton
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith Young

Remember, a second rejection will only spur the council morons to demand a third vote. BizSense should look into how much money Urban One has put into each council member’s political campaign treasure chest.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago
Reply to  Brian Hutton

Interesting charge. Got any proof of that?

Some of these councilpeople do not need to be bribed to go with this, — the marketing of the project and the “us vs. them” rhetoric around it makes it dangerous to oppose in some districts.

Travis Jordan
Travis Jordan
5 months ago
Reply to  Brian Hutton

Virginians for casino and horse racing integrity on Facebook has it all lined up how much each council member and the mayor got as far as money to put the casino up in Richmond. Its a good read.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith Young

A business you can be proud of?

JORDAN TUCKER
JORDAN TUCKER
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith Young

Laughable drivel

Michael Stapor
Michael Stapor
5 months ago

I still think this is looking for short term benefits over much higher long term costs. Even the suburban design of the building with its massive surface lot parking, as evident from the renderings, shows that this would be an isolated site with many hidden costs to quality of life.

Justin W Ranson
Justin W Ranson
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael Stapor

I believe “Suburban design” in this case pretty much just means “Large, open paved parking lots that waste space rather than Vertical parking with a GRTC/Pulse transfer station”

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael Stapor

Oh, boy…. HERE come the Urbanists.

A big selling point is that it WILL be isolated from the things in Richmond that are working in a quality of life kind of way, but NOT isolated from the Highway…

And OF COURSE a hotel complex needs ample parking — you expect everyone to Uber there? This isn’t NYC.

And expecting a parking garage or something would be a silly addition of costs —- you build parking garages when the land gets more valuable…

Lori Anderson
Lori Anderson
5 months ago

That 2-cent real estate tax incentive is laughable. We should have gotten a 2-cent tax break last year when the assessments increased. Our real estate tax rate should be a lot lower especially considering Chesterfield and Henrico’s rates are less than $1.00 per $100. To even consider this casino, we should get a the very least a 5-cent tax break. Instead, they keep the rate high so we can pay for the members of the city council to sit there and decide to make us vote for something we have already voted for. As for jobs, I am sure the… Read more »

Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
5 months ago
Reply to  Lori Anderson

Yeah I hope it comes with * that rate might be lower but assessments will go up so for one year your tax hike will be only 5% instead of say 12%…..and Mayor does not set rate Council does and he can’t guarantee rate cut more than one year.

Brian Glass
Brian Glass
5 months ago

Keith Youngs comments were about “Black Economic Growth.” If a black sponsored Casino fails in Richmond it will setback the black community for possibly decades to come. When Casino’s were first proposed in Atlantic City all boats were going to rise. The black community never benefitted there. Just a walk in the City will show anyone with an open mind that once you got off the boardwalk poverty prevailed. The location in Richmond is just not conducive for success. It’s in the middle of an industrial area .There’s no attraction such as the Atlantic Ocean nearby. Would visitors really go… Read more »

Keith Young
Keith Young
5 months ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

You know the comicial thing about the objection to this project is, everyone is only speaking to one element of the development. The casino portion. Why would it not be beneficial to have a production studio, why would it not be beneficial to have an additional venue for concerts (especially since there is no more Coliseum) and entertainment. What is the harm in waking up an area of the city that has been slow in developing for years.What is wrong with getting extra jobs whether it is one or one hundred? It is funny how people always blame the leadership… Read more »

Arnold H Hager
Arnold H Hager
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith Young

The way I see it is: Why bring in such a large out of place hotel/casino where very few local people will benefit. If gambling is legal? Is it? Then let the locals participate. Any restaurant or store should be allowed slot/poker machines and sports bars should be allowed to take bets on ballgames being televised on their screens. Poker halls should be allowed as bingo halls. It seems to me local leaders are only serving the big guys. While I can make a sports bet on my phone, I am unable to place a bet at my local bar.… Read more »

Jobe Smith
Jobe Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith Young

This is an industrial area. Why would anyone want to go to a casino or concert in an industrial area? Maybe they can have a viewing tower for the city incinerator?

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
5 months ago
Reply to  Jobe Smith

Once some one goes into a casino, they don’t wanted around the area sight seeing.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago
Reply to  Jobe Smith

Because it will be, hopefully, an in-and-out experience. People can plan a short stay on the way from Atlanta to Phily, or something — or make a spontaneous decision to stay there on such a trip “I’m getting itchy to stop and do something” Well, what? Well, we are going to be driving right through Richmond, maybe there is something there — maybe a hotel where we can catch a show or something..”

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith Young

This comes closest to reason that I have seen from you. First off, Stoney may “think forward” as you say but, like deBlassio in NYC or the person who is now the mayor of Chicago, they are TERRIBLE managers and all they accomplish is discrediting “forward thinking” when they can’t even get the potholes fixed or keep crime rates steady and not up. BUT, you make a point that I think is lost to most of these people — the point I think you are trying to make is that the business would have an ADVANTAGE in that it will… Read more »

JORDAN TUCKER
JORDAN TUCKER
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith Young

Charlotte blew by Richmond because of the debacle called Richmond city council. And the debacle continues to this day. The residents of the city seem to want to elect complete morons for some reason to every position.

Justin W Ranson
Justin W Ranson
5 months ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

People keep using Atlantic City as an example, but it’s a poor one- They essentially allowed unfettered growth of sub-par casinos, where as Virginia has decided to allow a single casino in each approved jurisdiction. Rebuilding a city around multiple casinos and allowing one casino is not an equivalent argument.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago

I agree mostly, but the idea of Atlantic city was very much as a DESTINATION as well as a “Gambling Destination” I think you are on track as far as the oblique “class” comment — Atlantic city, to its detriment, was, unlike most other casion destinations, some place you could take a BUS to, like in the song “Atlantic City” It was the opposite of exclusive ski resorts that you practically have to take a private plane to access. Even Vegas, and the trashier Reno are not that easy to get to if you don’t have money for air-fare. The… Read more »

Ron Cooper
Ron Cooper
5 months ago

I originally voted in favor of the casino proposal but I will vote against it next time. I am outraged that Richmond voters are being disenfranchised by a small group of wealthy individuals and corrupt politicians.

Arnold H Hager
Arnold H Hager
5 months ago

Please come up with an original idea. Casinos are popping up everywhere. City leaders are just copycats. Must be getting some payoff somewhere. There are only so many gamblers to take advantage of, unless you can now promote gambling in your failing schools and churn out some newbies. Maybe VCU will offer a degree in craps. “Teach your children” there is a good future in gambling. lol.

Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
5 months ago
Reply to  Arnold H Hager

I am sure after the vote all them will be reporting donations from UrbanOne and its parties on their next quarterly statements to the state Board of Elections. VPAP lists Peninsula Pacific Entertainment as giving thousands to politicians and PACs. 

Last edited 5 months ago by Michael Dodson
Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago
Reply to  Arnold H Hager

I am glad SOMEONE is saying this, GENERALLY. PPE built a casino in Waterloo, NY and Upstate NY is one of these desperate areas where there are probably too many of these things. Upstate NY has a LOT of “me too” local politicians who waste money on sporting arenas (sound familiar?), Convention Centers (ahem) and casinos —- I don’t know if they are just stupid or if they think their voters are (or if it is a matter of money under tables…) but, really, this kind of thing is only a bonanza when it it is a rather ORIGINAL or… Read more »

Paul Norton
Paul Norton
5 months ago

Remember these are same clowns that shot down the Navy Hill project prior to COVID. These people have one goal in mind: keep the City of Richmond poor so there is always a cause to run against!

Craig Davis
Craig Davis
5 months ago

The “anti-democratic” theme is ridiculous. Is it anti-democratic for candidates to run for an office more than once even though voters previously decided they shouldn’t get the job the 1st time? Do legislators not put in bills that get defeated again and again for years before they pass (supporters of medicaid expansion, ending the death penalty, marijuana deciiminialzation & legalization should be glad its not “anti-democratic” to submit & vote on the same bills in successive sessions). I get it, folks posting here are the loudest voices opposing it but there’s nothing at all undemocratic about having it put on… Read more »

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
5 months ago

“Get it in writing” Richmond.

Not that getting something in writing from this awe inspiring bunch will hold them to anything.