|RP gets lots of casino ‘feedback’
Citizens respond to city’s request via voicemail and e-mail messages
Rohnert Park City Hall cannot be accused of ignoring or shunting aside citizen comments about the Graton Resort & Casino slated to open early next month. It’s publicized a special phone number to call, 588-2264, and also its Internet website, Casinoimpact@RP city.org, and held meetings with local businesses.
All these concerns fall into the “mitigation” category. Graton Resort & Casino has already paid the city $2,446,721 in mitigation funds. They were part of the original Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) the city made with the Graton tribe 10 years ago.
Assistant City Manager Darrin Jenkins has collected several pages of comments from e-mails, voicemails and other electronic means. He noted, “Each voicemail, e-mail or electronic request was responded to by me.” Majority, about 90 percent, of the comments came from North Bay counties and San Francisco.
The Community Voice has the list and we’ve gone through all the comments and have selected a sample for our readers. In order to avoid a blizzard of quotation marks cluttering the messages, we’ve kept quotation marks to a minimum. Here are a few in no particular order:
“Increased panhandling. Home values in Rancho Verde Mobile Home Park will go down. Is the casino buying Rancho Verde? (Graton tribe says no). Lobby Sacramento to prevent competition. Casino will be highlight of Rohnert Park.
Casino should have a non-smoking area. City should market RP for tourism. What about light and noise pollution? Casino is anti-family. Lot of dust during construction. I won’t be shopping in RP. No concerns, just wanted to chat.
“Provide free swimming for RP residents. Coordinate every traffic signal in RP. Casino will be a white elephant. Rohnert Park is a sleazy rat’s nest. Politicians can be bought and paid off by just about anyone. I will relocate out of RP. Have concerns about impact on private water wells. Have concerns about fire protection for residents. Will the city provide buses to casino? Will these buses go through RP residential areas?” Many queries were also received about how to get a job at the casino and if RP traffic police and the California Highway Patrol can cope with casino traffic.
Apparently, not too many casino comments were sent via the U.S. Post office. They were not mentioned in Jenkins’ report to the city council Oct. 8.
I have lived in Rohnert Park almost thirty years I have seen some good changes and some not so good. I would like to see more good changes for Rohnert Park. I would like to see more done with the store fronts that are empty filled , a "Center or down town" established, streets and roads improved especially since there is going to be more traffic!
Sincerely Suzanne Shriver