FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft sent a letter Tuesday urging the town of Foxborough to give residents the chance to consider his proposal for a casino. But the town’s Board of Selectmen took a stand against Kraft’s proposal before he formally made it, by voting 3-2 Tuesday night to send a letter to Kraft, as well as to the governor and casino developer Steve Wynn, that the town is unwilling to host a casino.
Tuesday Night’s Meeting
Selectboard Chairman Lawrence Harrington opened the meeting at Foxborough High School by trying to quell any potential fireworks with a preemptive call for civility.
But keeping the lid on the crowd of nearly 700 was challenging. Residents from Foxborough and nearby towns lined up to speak, including Michelle Paluzzi.
“I know with the casino there is a promise of excessive amounts of money coming into town, but I have to say there is no amount of money worth accepting when it’s no longer a town you want to live,” Paluzzi said.
Some in the crowd have not made up their minds, like Mike Salzman, who would welcome more information from the developers.
“I’m very, very concerned with all the things I am hearing,” Salzman said. “They’re all emotional issues that can’t be quantified. There are too many facts that are missing.”
But others say they have all the facts they need, like union carpenter and Foxborough resident Paul Vey.
“I am out of work and am desperately looking for work,” Vey said. “Me and my family are not living in the Foxborough dream possibly.”
After about 45 minutes Harrington tried to move on to the selectboard’s agenda. But a longtime town resident, Helen Gutowski Merrigan, insisted on being heard.
“Two white sharks are circling Foxborough,” she said. “They both think the town of Foxborough is asleep, and easy pickings and that everything has a price.”
The meeting went on for several hours and in the end the board voted the proposal down. But Kraft and casino developer Wynn could still present a formal proposal to the public.