Save East Greenbush volunteers submitted a packet demonstrating community opposition to the proposed casino at Thompson Hill Road for the June 30 deadline of the New York State Gaming Commission. The packet includes press reports on the extent of community outrage over the controversial Town Board vote of June 12, petition signatures totaling over 2,000, and documents detailing the multiple issues with the Thompson Hill Road location and the process by which developers and the Town Board sought to sell it to the town.
“It’s a ridiculous place for a casino,” said East Greenbush resident Jack Conway. “The process was all wrong from the beginning, and these documents show that. How could anyone think that putting a gambling venue of that size next to two schools and a girl scout camp was a good idea?”
Only 42% of registered voters in East Greenbush responded to the controversially worded Proposition 1 in 2013. The proposition, which asked if voters would support casinos in upstate NY without specifying location, passed by only 183 votes in the town. Of registered voters in East Greenbush, less than one quarter support casino gambling generally and even less a casino at Thompson Hill Road. There has been no referendum on the East Greenbush site.
Last Thursday, the group filed suit in Rensselaer County Supreme Court over the Town Board resolution that “bypassed public opinion.” (Times Union, 6/5/14) The legal petition states that the EG resolution was adopted at a public meeting held in violation of the NYS Open Meetings Law; was adopted without having undergone any environmental review as required under the NY State Environmental Quality Review Act; and was arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and an error of law.
Jeff Meyer, of Meyer and Fuller Law Firm, said his group will continue to challenge other actions of the town, including zoning and land use approvals needed for the project. "We will show that a casino isn't even permitted to be in this area period," said Meyer, who specializes in land-use law.