Mayor Sarno issues executive order for Casino Advisory Committee meeting

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has ordered the Casino Advisory Committee to hold a long over-due meeting.

The Casino Advisory Committee was supposed to start meeting when MGM Springfield first opened last August, but the city never scheduled a meeting until now.

As required, the city created a “Casino Advisory Committee” that’s tasked with making recommendations to MGM and the city, as well as reviewing casino and gaming policies.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno issued an executive order on Tuesday demanding that they meet no later than September 30.

City Councilor Jesse Lederman told 22News, “Having residents involved is a key piece of community engagement. We want as many voices at the table as possible and as much insight and perspective as possible and these are folks that can provide that.”

The 11-member Casino Advisory Committee was formed under the host community agreement the city signed with MGM Springfield in 2013. Its members were appointed by the Mayor, the city council, and MGM. They’re required to meet every three months.

“Absolutely the community should be involved with MGM,” said local resident Larry Swain. “They should communicate on what situations that are evolving. It’s not right that they are not meeting.”

In the order, Sarno said the focus is to promote the recreational, cultural, historic resources of the city to increase its desirability as a location for tourism.

Councilor Lederman told 22News the city council has its own casino advisory committee, which has been meeting regularly to make sure MGM Springfield is held accountable to the host community agreement.

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