Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers Fails to Convey City's True Stance on Gaming at Senate Hearing
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers testifies in Washington, D.C. at Senate Committee on Indian Gaming.
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers was among several individuals who testified before a U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Wednesday regarding plans by the Tohono O'odham Nation to build the West Valley Resort, a resort-style casino near 91st and Northern avenues.
Although Weiers had pledged to convey the city's newfound support for the Nation's proposed casino and gaming on their swath of land, he devoted two sentences to Glendale's official stance in his nearly six-minute speech.
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In fact, he tried to dilute the city's support for gaming and the Nation's project by telling the committee chairman that the only reason Glendale now supported the casino and gaming is because "just recently one council member switched his vote."
"My point I'd like to make is, 'Should one person make a difference for the entire state and affect all the Native American tribes we have in Arizona?' I think not," Weiers told the committee.
Indeed, Weiers thinks not.
Weiers' belief that "one person" -- in this case, Councilman Gary Sherwood who switched his position and now supports the casino project -- shouldn't make a difference is beyond ridiculous. And, quite hypocritical given that Weier's wasn't making that argument when that "one person" was tilting the scales against the Nation's West Valley Resort and Casino.
Weiers told the committee that "last week, after the Interior Department's decision to take T.O.'s land into trust, the City Council voted 4-3 to repeal our 2009 resolution opposing the casino and passed a new resolution. This new resolution says that Glendale 'does not object to the Trust Land being utilized for gaming.'"
But he fell short of his pledge to clearly represent the official position when he started speaking on behalf of the City Council as a whole:
He testified that "with few choices left, a slim majority of my Council felt that we had to come to the bargaining table with T.O. Our choice was not ideal: continue to fight and hope for action from this body, or give in to this casino being forced on us. It is frustrating to be a city of our size and have no voice on a casino proposed by a tribal government more than a hundred miles away."
Our choice was not ideal? Give in to this casino being forced on us?
It's clear that a majority of the Glendale City Council is welcoming this casino with open arms, and yet Weiers characterizes it as though they're being trampled upon.