FUMO ASKS NEW MAYOR NUTTER TO REVIEW CITY CASINO DECISIONS
# # #
(On Senate Letterhead)
January 8, 2008
Dear Mayor Nutter,
First, congratulations again on your victory and on your inspiring Inaugural Address yesterday. I am ready to work with you in Harrisburg, to assist not only our city but our school district as well. The goals that you put forth were meaningful and worthwhile and we should all aspire to them.
To that end, in your speech, you stressed transparency in government. I believe that those goals should also be retroactive when there are glaring examples of questionable actions on the part of the last administration.
Specifically, I want to recount for you what I see as attempts to thwart the spirit and the letter of the law, in an effort to help the casino developers involved in the SugarHouse project in my district. I do not want to rehash the prior Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling on the procedures of City Council, however I do believe that if the administration backed up Council, rather than acquiescing to developers, that decision might have been different.
The Department of Commerce, for the first time in the history of the city, has attempted an end run of the state General Assembly by granting riparian rights to the developers. This is a direct slap in the face to the Commonwealth and the very people to whom we must go for help in the future with the problems of the City. In fact, the state House passed a resolution objecting to the Commerce Department action, 200 to 0.
In addition, the Street Administration, on its way out the door, hired lawyers to represent the city in current litigation so that the Street philosophy of placating non-resident developers could continue under your administration.
There are a myriad of issues surrounding casino development that are critically important for the future of our city. We must proceed deliberately, taking the time to make sure that it is done correctly. Recognizing that the departments and lawyers handling these issues on behalf of the city are now under your control, I urge you to review the actions and decisions of the previous administration carefully.
I and my staff are prepared to meet with you any time to discuss these issues in greater detail, as we, along with Councilman Frank DiCicco and his staff, have been in the forefront of fighting for the residents of my district. We have been joined in our efforts by Senator Stack as well as Representatives O’Brien, Keller, Taylor and Donatucci. This is a bicameral and bipartisan effort to make sure that casino development follows the laws of Pennsylvania, and that the will of the General Assembly is honored and respected.
Thank you and I remain,
At your service,
VINCENT J. FUMO