EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

May 20, 2013

Letter: Casino vote a test of our democratic process and majority rule

To the editor:

Our local, state and federal governments create rules and laws based upon a majority vote by our elected officials. On both sides of the political aisle, votes are made based upon ideology, economic and social issues, not all of which are ever in agreement.

Senate Bill 152 is driven by both economic and social issues. Positions of our elected officials should echo the will of the people. In Salem, our nonbinding referendum vote was 81 percent in favor of the casino at Rockingham Park.

The benefit of reduced property taxes, not to mention the additional benefits of the social vitality it will bring to Salem and the region with entertainment, lodging, horse racing and, yes, gambling. The social issues of gambling have been well vetted, and we have not been told of any dire social consequences that would make Salem an undesirable place to visit and live. Further, the Casino would help to fund our state transportation system, provide funding for New Hampshire’s northern regions and fund education objectives.

To the four state representatives, John Sytek, Patrick Bick and Bianca and Marilinda Garcia, who are against the casino bill:

I believe all of us need to understand why you are against the bill (at least the 81 percent of us who are in favor of it). Are there other factors you are aware of that have not been reported by our state legislators, local officials, selectmen and various studies, all of which have been documented identifying both the pros and cons?

We commend you for serving the state of New Hampshire, especially because New Hampshire politicians are not paid a salary, unlike those in other states. We do, however, expect your serious and sensible consideration of Bill 152, and a vote in favor of it. Your action will correctly represent the vast majority of residents who voted for you and expect your representation on behalf of Salem. Your favorable vote will also validate our representation in Concord today and in the future.

Paul Houle

Salem, N.H.

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