The Santa Barbara Supervisors have consistently cast votes and made decisions supporting 154 members of the Santa Ynez Band while ignoring outcry from the local community. This outcry has included thousands of letters and hours and hours of testimony protesting tribal land and gambling expansion because of the significant harm it has on the affected community. 13,000 people have signed a petition saying NoMoreSlots!, yet when emailed if they would support a Resolution to Governor Schwarzenegger that Santa Barbara County opposes any more slots, not one Supervisor, including Supervisor Firestone, responded.
There is a current violation of the Santa Ynez Band Tribal-State Gaming Compact with the use of the Royal Scandinavian Inn and Federico’s to support the gaming facility. This has been acknowledged by the Californian Gambling Control Commission. Yet, there has been no public comment, nor any apparent follow up by County leadership on this flagrant violation.
In addition, on items regarding the tribe and County action, the County has consistently waited to take action until they could consult with the Santa Ynez Band. The county has actually deferred to the Santa Ynez Band before acting. This is shocking. For the transcripts of a hearing documenting this, go to the P.O.L.O. tribal expansion link, scroll down and click on to the Feb. 27 th meeting.
We do know that there are elected officials who are strenuously opposing tribal gambling and land expansion. For example, in Vancouver City, Washington, City Council members voted unanimously to oppose a proposed Cowlitz casino in North Clark County. Although Vancouver City is 13 miles away from the proposed casino, this City Council passed a resolution opposing this casino because their community will suffer many of the negative impacts of a mega-casino. This is just one example of strong leadership. This leadership is occurring in other communities across the country.
Members of P.O.L.O. and POSY have provided the Supervisors with copious pages of factual documentation on the tremendous negative impacts a gambling casino of this size has on a community. 13,000 people said NoMoreSlots!, there is a violation of the Tribal-State Compact, yet the community is continually ignored. Why ?