SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Springfield is now one step closer to placing restrictions on certain city employees who want to work for MGM’s casino.
Ken Pooler, Jr of Springfield said, “It shows the sign of faith on their part that they don’t want any part of the casino other than to help economics here in Springfield.”
The proposed “Casino Ethics Ordinance” passed the first step Monday night. It would prohibit Springfield’s mayor and city councilors from working at MGM Springfield for five years after leaving office. The restriction would be two years for department heads and any city employees making at least $60,000 per year.
City Council President Mike Fenton told 22News, “The real thing that distinguishes gaming from every other industry is the societal impression of what gaming is and what it means to a community.”
However, some city councilors want to let the state have the final say. The state already imposes a three year ban on casino employment for the members of the Gaming Commission, and there’s a one year “cooling off” period for municipal employees in certain situations.
City Councilor Tim Rooke said, “That to me is acceptable. Why should we be preventing anyone in the city from being able to get a job to better their family?”
The ordinance needs to pass two more rounds of city council approval and the mayor’s signature to take effect. And, MGM officials will attend a City Council meeting later this month to discuss the zone changes they need to build the casino.