BOSTON — The Boston City Council is debating whether all city residents should be able to vote on a proposed casino at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, and at a hearing Friday, a majority of councilors indicated that just East Boston residents should be allowed to vote.
But other councilors are pushing for a citywide referendum, arguing that the casino would impact all of Boston.
Mayoral candidate and Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley, who’s not on the council, showed up at the hearing to voice his opinion in favor of a citywide vote.
“We are not a confederacy of neighborhoods,” he said.
But many councilors, like Mike Ross — another mayoral candidate, speaking ahead of Tuesday’s preliminary election — say it’s more complicated than that.
“To me, the impact is going to be on the community of East Boston first and foremost,” he said.
The meeting was the last chance for the public to weigh in. A decision is expected next week.
Mayor Thomas Menino and the owners of Suffolk Downs also want the referendum to be limited to East Boston residents.
The $1 billion casino proposed by Suffolk Downs and Caesars Entertainment could be in competition with proposals in Everett and Milford for the sole eastern Massachusetts resort casino license.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom