Thursday, May 31, 2012

Preparing our children: What’s in store for East Taunton Elementary School & Wampanoag casino?

“East Taunton Elementary School (ETES) is a safe and well-maintained school that treats each student, family and staff member with dignity and respect!”

Dignity & Respect: That’s the value statement for one of the local Taunton schools most impacted by the proposed Wampanoag Indian resort casino for Taunton, MA.  ETES, which borders the proposed development property and is less than 300 yards from the proposed casino entrance, is not the only impacted school.  The Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical High School sits across the street to the North of the gaming complex site and City consultants also found Taunton High School, Martin Middle School, Coyle-Cassidy High School and Taunton Catholic Middle School will all be impacted to some degree by the casino location.

How are Mayor Hoye and the Mashpee Wampanoag providing dignity and respect to the children, parents and teachers of Taunton schools? 

The intergovernmental agreement (IGA) negotiated between Taunton Mayor Tom Hoye and Wampanoag Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell calls for $360,000 in annual payments to support Taunton Schools; however, the recent consultants report (confounding that it was delivered AFTER the Mayor signed off on the IGA) identifies a minimum of $890,000 in annual additional costs to the Taunton schools with the influx of lower income casino workers’ children into the system.  That's a $530,000 annual deficit and NEW burden the taxpayers of Taunton will have to bear.  But this doesn’t even take into account the full impact on children this casino will have and only accounts for costs to Taunton public schools.  Parochial and private schools will have increased burdens as well.

Safe & Well Maintained Schools: What else is in store for East Taunton children, parents and teachers as they come to and from school each day with a new resort casino complex next door?  One new treat, in addition to dodging the 21,000 cars and delivery trucks coming into the casino daily, will be the changed landscape surrounding the complex.  Next to high traffic (and significant increases in DUI cases) what do all casinos bring with them which currently don’t exist in East Taunton?  Check cashing stores and pawn shops of course! 

Do a Google maps search of any urban or suburban casino site (Atlantic City, Reno, Las Vegas, etc…) and “search nearby” for pawn or check cashing.  The routes to and from casinos are littered with the cash convenience stores where casino goers can turn those social security checks or grandma’s silver into casino coin to feed the slots.

Pawn shops thrive around Indian casinos according to this May 21, 2012 media report on the Seneca New York Indian casino.   You know what else comes with pawn shops?  Property crime!   Currently there are no check-cashing outlets or pawn shops near the schools and neighborhoods – MoneyTree and Fall River Pawn being the current closest sources, and they are responsibly located outside of residential neighborhoods.

An independent study conducted by the University of Michigan in 2008 found that pawn shops were associated with an increase in crimes – specifically robberies, burglaries and larcenies in the neighborhoods where they were located.  This report found:
“Increases in the number of pawnshops are shown to raise the rate of those crimes in which pawnable property is stolen and to have no impact on the rates of those crimes in which such property is not taken.  The results support the hypothesis that pawnshops trade in ill-gotten merchandise…. robbery, burglary, and larceny are crimes in which pawnable property is generally taken…   an increase in the number of pawnshops raises the incidence of these types of crimes…"
Research by Florida police found the pawn industry contributes to increased rates in property crimes.    Further, simply to manage that increased crime local police resources must be devoted to monitoring activities at area pawn shops.  

So parents, kids and teachers - let's start preparing our kids to dodge traffic and deal with increase crime as the WampaWorld Indian Resort Casino Complex comes to Taunton.


  1. So the Casino will now COST Taunton taxpayers and additional half-million dollars a year to cover increased school costs not covered by the agreement with the tribe - that's not right and should be fixed.

  2. You want to see what to expect from the Wampanoag when it comes to kids? Their last tribal director for child welfare programs was arrested on drug charges. The background of all the folks in the Cromwell administration is beyond shady. None would qualify for a casino license if this were a commercial operation - but as an Indian casino I guess anything goes.

  3. If all you say about pawn shops is true, then the City can simply pass an ordinance banning pawn shops in Taunton. No brainer.

    1. there are 3 pawn shops at the green anyway they could just use those if thats the case

  4. Because the Wampanoag can allow the pawn shops on their properties and City ordinances won't apply. And their pawn shops and check cashing outlets won't pay local fees or taxes - so say goodbye to existing local business owners who are providing those services in a regulated and responsible manner.

  5. THAT would be a nice racket! The casino takes your money, then your stuff in pawn, then the money again!

  6. Too funny. Pawn shops and check cashing as long as they are not owned and operated by Wampanoags. LOL

  7. Too funny. Pawn shops and check cashing as long as they are not owned and operated by Wampanoags. LOL

    Yep, that is the real issue folks can't figure out how to claim being indian:)

  8. An additional 1/2 million in city taxpayer money. You idiot states pay for the schools. If more people move into taunton then property valuses will go up and more tax revenue will be generated.