A village board member of Islandia publicly criticized the handling of a proposal for Suffolk OTB to provide a casino in the area, stating the announcement of a public hearing was provided to only a select few residents in the area. Deputy Mayor Diane Olk made the claims on Tuesday during a work sesson and Allan M. Dorman, the Mayor of Islandia, has now fired back, stating the criticism by the board member is not credible.

Olk stated on Tuesday that letters were sent out to only a few ‘select’ residents to announce a public hearing for the casino project for July 5th. Olk called for the hearing to be reopened so that additional residents could comment on the casino plan.

Yesterday, Dorman released a statement on Olk’s comments via a public relations firm used by the village which stated that residents were adequately notified of the hearing. In the statement, Dorman said that on July 5th a ‘highly publicized meeting’ took place and the village made every effort to let all residents know of the meeting. Based on the attendance level of the meeting, Dorman feels it is difficult to give Olk’s statement any credibility.

During the meeting on the 5th, several residents spoke out against the casino, including individuals from neighboring communities. Only a handful of participants seemed to be in favor of the casino plan. Olk stated on Thursday that Dorman seemed to be unprepared as a large crowd was in attendance during the hearing and time limits that she considered ‘unprecedented’ were set on those who spoke, with individuals asked to fill out forms as a request to speak during the meeting.

Olk stated that Dorman should have been more prepared and provided a proper setting for the hearing while Dorman commented in this statement that everyone was given an opportunity to speak. Dorman reiterated that the majority of those who were opposed in the crowd were nonresident members associated with civic groups located outside Islandia.

On Thursday, two civic leaders seemed to be in agreement with Olk. One such leader, Wind Watch Homeowners Association of Hauppauge, Larry Kelter, stated that he feels the mayor does not want to know that there is opposition to the plan and he wants to push through without any negative feedback, according to Newsday.com.

Suffolk County Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., made a request to be approved for a special permit for the Islandia Marriott facility to be able to offer 1,000 video lottery terminals as well as add a racing simulcast facility. A vote was set to take place on the request on the 12th of July but Dorman cancelled the vote and it has yet to be rescheduled. The board will meet again this coming Tuesday.

2 Responses

  1. Fay Zawada

    It is on the Village of Islandia Website that the applicant for the Permit is Delaware North; Not Suffolk Off Track Betting. It is better to get the facts straight. It is also well known that the Deputy Mayor is against the casino and has been standing behind the civics. When you come from a large town it is not out of the ordinary to have a three minute timer as well as filling out a card so that people know when they have to speak.

    Reply
    • Lars Jones
      Lars Jones

      Thank you for your comments. Indeed Delaware North is involved in the project, specifically in financing and managing the casino once it finds a home, but it is most assuredly Suffolk OTB that was granted the legal right to open a lottery slots parlor. Once open, the name you will see on the license will be Suffolk OTB.

      For a bit of background on the issue: In June 2013 both Suffolk and Nassau off track betting corporations were granted permission by lawmakers to operate up to 1,000 VLT’s each (video lottery terminals). Daily Racing Form speaks of the (as then yet to be approved) deal here.

      Reply

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