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What you need to know for 01/19/2017

King hoping council members ‘come around’ on casino vote

King hoping council members ‘come around’ on casino vote

The procedural vote regarding the casino in Schenectady was pulled because half the council might ha

The procedural vote regarding the casino in Schenectady was pulled because half the council might have voted against it, City Council members said.

Although Council President Margaret King said Monday that she was pulling the resolution because it wasn’t necessary yet, she said Wednesday that she was also aware that it didn’t have enough support.

Three council members had indicated they might not vote for it, she said.

Three others, including herself, planned to vote for it, she said.

The seventh member, Carl Erikson, was traveling on business and could not cast a vote.

That meant the minor resolution was facing a 3-3 vote, on which it would not have passed.

King said Wednesday that she was hoping more council members would “come around” and support the casino if given more time. “I knew a couple people had questions,” she said.

So she called developer David Buicko.

“He said, ‘You know, this doesn’t have to be done tonight,’ ” she said.

So she decided to pull the resolution off the agenda, rather than risk a vote.

“Let’s get everybody’s questions answered and then let’s move forward,” she said, adding that she thinks two of the three members in opposition could be persuaded.

She said Councilwoman Marion Porterfield “is still on the fence” and that Councilman John Mootooveren is “coming around.”

Neither council member returned calls seeking comment.

Councilman Vince Riggi said he is adamantly opposed.

He said city officials called every council member, including him, to find out how they would vote before the meeting.

“They’ve done that before, many times,” he said.

Since the resolution was pulled, he said he’s not going to respond to those polls in the future.

“From now on, I’m going to say, ‘You’ll find out at the meeting,’ ” he said.

King said she’s confident casino-related resolutions will pass — eventually.

“I think the support is there,” she said, adding that Monday’s resolution would have passed 4-3 if Erikson had been present.

“Very bad timing,” she said of his business trip.

She would have preferred to get it passed Monday, she added.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather do it sooner than later,” she said.

But the council might not need to vote on the procedural issue at all. The resolution would have asked the Planning Commission to review the zoning at the former Alco plant and determine whether a casino could be sited there. The commission was also to make recommendations regarding any change in zoning.

King said the commission could probably take up that issue without direction from the council.

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