Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has fought a legal and a public relations battle over the proposed $1.7 billion Wynn Everett casino and has remained rigid in his views so far. While there have been discussions between Mayor Walsh’s team and senior executives from Wynn Resorts, both parties were unable to sort out their differences and reach a mutual agreement.
Wynn Resorts recently confirmed that a meeting between Mayor Walsh and Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn finally took place and stated that result of the meeting was productive for both sides.
The city of Boston and Mayor Walsh had earlier filed a lawsuit in the Suffolk Superior Court against the state gaming commission, stating that protocol was not followed in the licensing process. Walsh’s lawsuit has since been dismissed by Judge Janet Sanders who said that the claims were “irrelevant detail and hyperbole.”
The tussle between Mayor Walsh and Steve Wynn also appeared to be a battle of egos as Wynn had earlier stated that he could not negotiate with Mayor Walsh as he found him an unreasonable man and Walsh had responded by asking Wynn not to take things personally. The recent meeting between Walsh and Wynn is the first sign that a compromise could be on the cards.
While it appears that a compromise might be reached, Mayor Walsh is yet to make a decision as to whether he should appeal the ruling made by Judge Janet Sanders. Walsh has reconfirmed his commitment to the city of Boston and its people by saying that he will not roll over and will not give up. The Mayor has so far used $1.25 million of tax payers money to pursue this legal battle with Wynn Resorts.
Walsh and Wynn met at an undisclosed location and discussed a number of issues, including traffic concerns that the Wynn Everett casino is expected to cause. In a statement, Mayor Walsh said “I think there’s been some good headway made in the last couple of weeks and months here, and we’re going to continue to move forward and see what we can do.”
Walsh appears to be fighting what is very much a one-sided battle as everything appears to be going in favor of Wynn Resorts including the issuance of a critical environmental permit and Judge Sanders decision to dismiss the case. Walsh has also been under pressure from Mayor Carlo DeMaria of Everett to drop his charges and allow the Wynn Everett casino to proceed as per plan, as it was going to create 4,000 construction jobs on a contractual basis and an additional 4,000 permanent jobs once the casino was opened to the public.