SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A group organized to oppose a possible casino in Springfield is demanding that Mayor Domenic Sarno agree to three debates on the casino issue before the July 16 referendum vote, though that may not likely happen.
Citizens Against Casino Gaming sent the Mayor a letter on Wednesday, saying that they want him to personally debate one of their representatives on three separate occasions.
Sarno has been a prominent supporter of MGM's Springfield casino, having negotiated and signed an agreement with the casino at the beginning of May; an agreement that has since been approved by the City Council. The group says that the Mayor has been trying to push city residents and businesses to rush through this development.
"In light of your unyielding pressure, both on city officials, elected leaders, and the business community, our group believes and demands that you owe the residents, and ultimately the voters, your immediate commitment to a minimum of three public debates before the July 16, 2013 casino referendum ballot," wrote Mark Mullan of CACG in their letter to Sarno.
In a statement responding to the request, Sarno said that they are working to get information out on this proposal to the public in advance of the vote, but said that the debating should be left to the casino company itself.
"People know where I stand on this issue. As always, my administration will continue to participate in discussion panels and forums. As for the request, the Citizens Against Casino Gaming needs to take that up with MGM officials," Sarno said.
CACG's proposed debate dates are June 10, June 27, and July 10.