— Eye on Everett —

Speculation Grows About the MCG Report

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By Josh Resnek

On December 12, in a Superior courtroom in Las Vegas Nevada a single judge will be hearing the merits of Steven Wynn’s lawsuit wishing to stop the release of a Massachusetts Gaming Commission investigation. Lawyers from Boston will be representing the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

If Wynn prevails, then the MGC investigation results are put on ice and they have to begin anew. Such a finding by the court for Wynn would be a potentially destructive earthquake for the city and for Wynn Resorts.

You cannot run a casino without a gaming license and so if the MGC pulls it, if Wynn Resorts cannot convince them they are “suitable” or in this case that they are not “unsuitable,” well, it is a new ballgame here in our city.

If the casino does not open in June 2019, if certain payments aren’t made or if they are late or if they will not be made at all, Everett is cooked in the short-term although the city will be OK in the long term.

What is the likelihood of Wynn prevailing before a single justice in Nevada? Who knows? What is the ultimate outcome if he prevails? Who knows, again?

I do know this: if Wynn prevails it is a dose of bad news for Wynn Resorts.

It may not change the outcome of the MGC’s investigation but it will certainly cause the investigation to be badly compromised.

The Boston Herald recently has been suggesting that all this time is passing with the MGC so Wynn Resorts has a chance to sell the place before it is deemed unsuitable and must give up its license.

It is highly doubtful this is the case but it could be the case. Who knows?

This investigation, which has been going on for almost a year, will either turn out to be a very bad joke for people who believe there is justice, as most insiders suspect, as every executive at Encore likely believes, or Wynn Resorts is going to be deemed suitable despite all the lying before the MGC that went on among chief executives and others.

Much of this investigation concerns Steve Wynn’s efforts to hide some aspects of his past, such as a $7.5 million payout to a former employee who claimed she was forced to get naked with Wynn in his massage room, give Wynn a manicure while he was naked, and then to have sex with him on the massage table.The question might reasonably be asked, “Is this the kind of leader we want to have running Encore?” Not really but then, Steve Wynn is no longer in the picture and the company has changed around a bit.

The problem? It was Steve Wynn who got the company the license and it was Steve Wynn who lied before the MGC. His lies aided in Wynn Resorts being deemed suitable to own a casino license, they enhanced the bet, so to speak.

The circumstances under which Wynn Resorts received its gaming license were enhanced by Steve Wynn’s lies. Wynn was not truthful to the MGC when he testified before it. That he lied to the MGC about his past and the payout to one of his victims before the MGC is not considered a crime.

No truly responsible party to a gaming license would lie before the commission. Not so in Wynn’s case. He presented himself as reliable, as the industry standard, as a lover of art and everything that is elegant. In reality, he lied before the MGC, and it is believed the current president of the company lied as well. The former lawyer for the company also is believed to have lied. Lied about what? Knowledge about their boss – who they worked for for longer than a decade.

Rational reasoning would have it thusly: how can anyone work by a boss’s side for a decade not know what they are all about. In the case of Steve Wynn, could his company president and chief lawyer ever have asked him this: ‘What is the reason for a massage table inside your office?”

Where I come from that is a reasonable question.

If you never ask a question like that, then maybe you have to wonder what goes on behind closed doors with the boss?

No. They apparently never wondered about this either or did they?

The company president was literally and physically under the wing of Steve Wynn for more than a decade. He is a very bright guy who made about $24 million last year working for Wynn Resorts.

Did he not know about his boss’s proclivities?

How could he be a company president and not know about the boss?

Impossible, you say?

I agree.

Everyone knew everything about each other. Everyone knew. Everyone lied.

On December 12 in Las Vegas a judge will hear both sides. The matter is not likely to be decided right there.

The judge will need to consider the arguments and will take the matter under advisement. Then the judge will write a ruling.

This could take a week. It could take two weeks. It could take a month.

Bottom line, this is a big, big thing – not the ultimate moment and thing – but a very big measure of what is to come with the Encore casino and hotel.

Your Tax Bill

There was a time, and it was not so long ago, when there was a thing called a property tax bill. Your property, no matter where or what kind, was appraised and then you were charged a tax on it.

The tax represented part of the levy the city needed to pay its employees and to meet its obligations.

Sometime after the Civil War, property taxes were split into two categories, commercial and residential and for many, many decades those were the only two categories and the taxation system was simple to understand.

Today, there are approximately six categories of taxation and a dozen reasons taxpayers can fight the system by seeking abatements.

I, for one, do not understand all the categories, or why such categories were instituted or how fair the taxation system is with so many categories when more categories implies more special interests being met and the doctrine of fairness being defiled.

When city officials talk about exemptions, abatements, categories and reasons taxation must be complex instead of

When city officials talk about exemptions, abatements, categories and reasons taxation must be complex instead of simple, I am immediately lost. It all seems to water down the taxation system when meeting special demands.

Everyone should be taxed fairly at the same rate all the time in every category of property whether commercial or residential.

Commercial payers shouldn’t take a larger hit than homeowners and homeowners shouldn’t be forced into the same situation.

Talking about Everett’s taxation system today is like trying to solve a geometry question – and I was always really bad at math.

The exemptions are foolish and inefficient and unfair.

Both tax rates are unfair – commercial and residential.

Taxation is unfair considering how much money the city throws away from year to year simply trying to clean streets, provide schooling and police and fire.

The only thing all of us know for sure about taxes here is what?

That they are rising up and up, from year to year, so they are higher now than ever before with no end in sight – except maybe for more exemptions, abatements, categories and on and on.

Climate Change

Is there anyone living in this city that can say with a guarantee that the climate has changed, and more importantly, that the quality of life in Everett for residents living here has changed at all because of the climate?

This is not a trick question.

Is the climate different now than it was during the 1920’s, 1930’s and all the way to the present year we are living in?

Is life made more tenuous for Everett residents by climate change? How about Chelsea residents, Revere residents and Malden residents? What has the climate change done to their standards of living and ability to live decent lives safely?

I believe in climate change.

The climate is always changing on the earth since the beginning of time.

One thing I know is this: the United States and Europe cannot be the only group of nation states to alter our economies to accommodate climate change or to stop it or to reverse the rise in temperature on the earth which might just do us in if it gets hot enough.

Without China and India and the major Asian nations and other horrible polluters in Africa getting on board, our effort to direct climate change is a joke.

Yes, the joke may be on us, but until the others start doing their fair share with us, the effort is futile, which makes the constant doom and gloom reports about climate change more a political game than a roadmap to progress.

If I am going to hear that China has become environmentally conscious, well, that is a joke. The world’s largest economy is a polluter of the first magnitude.

What does China have to do with Everett? I’m not sure.

Are you?

 

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