Voters in East Windsor overwhelmingly defeated plans related to the money that would be paid by a potential new casino in town.
“I’m excited. I think the voters in East Windsor have sent a pretty clear signal that they want people putting forward ideas that benefit the community in a more thoughtful way,” said Selectman Jason Bowsza, a Democrat who is running for first selectman.
The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes have been fighting to build a joint casino on land near I-91.
In an agreement, the tribes agreed to pay the town $3 million up front and then an annual impact payment.
“It should be spent towards public safety and other projects that directly are impacted by the casino moving in,” said Selectman Charles Szymanski, who is a petitioning candidate for first selectman.
Szymanski said he believes the proposals sent to referendum were a required step which would set up a fund and create a framework for how to spend the casino money.
But some felt the process was being rushed.
“I don’t think it should have happened so close to election time, less than two weeks away. These decisions should have been made by the next board,” said Sarah Muska, a Republican candidate for first selectman.
Others raised concerns about how the money would be managed.
That was the focus of the second ordinance which was up for a vote and was defended by the current First Selectman Robert Maynard.
“In a sense this new, second ordinance, the distribution, really follows our budget procedure so it’s nothing revolutionary,” said Maynard, who is a petitioning candidate for selectman.
It now looks like the new select board after the election will play a part in setting up the fund.
The tribes received federal approval for the casino, which MGM is fighting.