The city is apparently renegotiating the Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel Host Agreement.
Not much public light has been cast on the renegotiation, how it is being done, who exactly is doing the negotiating and what might come of it.
We know this – the city deserves a great deal more money than it is receiving now.
In the front page op-ed published last week. Councilor Darren Costa said he believed the Host Agreement figure as it presently exists, is not enough compensation given how much Encore’s position on Lower Broadway is now expanding.
Encore will soon be taking in as much as $1 billion yearly in gaming revenues, hotel income, and the income to be derived from other entertainment, parking and commercial venues across the street on Lower Broadway.
When a new figure of compensation is arrived at, it is our belief that a vote by the people of Everett be taken in order to ratify the new Host Agreement.
And if this can’t be accomplished for whatever legal, ethical or political reasons that can be enumerated, then the compensation figure for the new Host Agreement should be discussed and voted on by the City Council before being ratified, signed and accepted by the city.
There is too much at stake to be cavalier about accepting a new cash proposal before a very close look at it has been made by the city government and or the people.
We urge those in charge of this process to be open and transparent about what exactly is being negotiated and why, and to inform the people of the city where the negotiations are at and what might be coming down.
This renegotiation is perhaps the most significant in the modern economic history of the city with regard to the future for the next decade.
The new Host Agreement needs also to be time sensitive – that is – meaning it is up for renegotiation as Encore reaches major revenue milestones that automatically trigger another renegotiation, in addition to year to year incremental increases to keep inflation at bay.
This is how it should be finalized.