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Council shows casino support

Members of the Amsterdam Common Council voted Tuesday to support efforts to build a casino in Montgomery County.

The vote was 3-0; 2nd Ward Alderwoman Valerie Beekman abstained and 5th Ward Alderman Richard Leggiero was absent.

In November 2013, voters in New York state approved the development of seven casinos in the state. The process of siting those casinos is now under way, and a site in the Town of Florida is under consideration.

The resolution expresses Amsterdam’s support for a local casino “provided there is stated support from the host municipality.” The Florida Town Board will take up the matter at its meeting Feb. 24.

The resolution cites “potential economic benefits” of locating a casino in Montgomery County.

“I’m in support of this,” 1st Ward Alderman Ed Russo said during the meeting. “It will help the county. It’s a good resolution.”

Beekman said after the meeting she abstained because she needed more information.

“What else [besides potential economic benefits] is it going to bring with it?” she asked. “I wish we could bring some businesses in here. That’s my top priority.”

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About John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.

2 Responses to Council shows casino support

  1. Dan Weaver says:

    Thank you Valerie for abstaining. While a casino will bring financial benefits, your questions need to be answered before proceeding with this project.

    • Abstaining is not an option for an Alderman. A vote is required by Charter unless the Alderman is granted unanimous approval from the Councilmen present to abstain from voting. That approval was not given in this situation. Each Alderman has a responsibility to represent the thousands of people in their respective wards. Illegally abstaining from a vote is a failure to perform that duty.