Artist's rendering of the proposed West Valley Resort. Image from Tohono O'odham Nation
The city council in Glendale, Arizona, will negotiate an off-reservation casino with the Tohono O'odham Nation but that message was lost at an emotional Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday. Instead, Mayor Jerry Weiers used nearly every minute of his testimony to explain why he doesn't support the proposed West Valley Resort. He only mentioned the city council's official stance once and he failed to tell the committee that the city is opposing H.R.1410, the Keep the Promise Act, a bill that blocks the casino. In fact, he asked the committee to approve the measure, which passed the House in September. The Phoenix New-Times contacted the mayor's office to find out why he presented a conflicting view at the hearing but was told he couldn't comment because he was flying back from Washington, D.C. Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), a member of the committee, expressed deep concerns about the proposed casino. But he said H.R.1410 faces an uncertain future in the Senate due to legal decisions favoring the tribe and, unlike Weiers, he mentioned the city's opposition to the measure. The committee has yet to schedule a hearing on the bill. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), the chairman, has put a priority on education, economic development and other issues since taking control earlier this year. The hearing on Wednesday lasted about 2 hours and 5 minutes. Audio can be found on the Indianz.Com SoundCloud, with testimony from Mayor Weiers found in "Panel 3 Testimony."
Get the Story:
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers Fails to Convey City's True Stance on Gaming at Senate Hearing (The Phoenix New-Times 7/24)
Tohono O’odham Closer to Glendale Casino, Tribes Continue to Fight Ruling (Indian Country Today 7/25)
Mayor testifies before Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (The Glendale Star 7/25) Committee Notice:
Oversight Hearing on "Indian Gaming: The Next 25 Years" (July 23, 2014) Related Stories:
Audio: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing on gaming (7/23)