Editorial: Compromise on Buena Vista casino deal

"The Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians is looking to open a casino on land that, according to a federal opinion, is legitimate American Indian land and eligible for such use.

There's a lot of call-my-bluff action going on between the tribe and the county. In summary:

» Earlier this month, a proposed intergovernmental services agreement failed when the supervisors voted 2-2, with Brian Oneto abstaining, because a relative owns nearby land. Another supervisor, Richard Forster, said he'd change his vote if the tribe eliminated a requirement that the county drop a federal lawsuit questioning the legitimacy of land use for the casino.

» Surprisingly, the tribe agreed to do just that.

» Last week Forster changed his mind again. He voted against the agreement despite the change, resulting in another 2-2 deadlock and sending the issue to binding arbitration.

It's hard to keep track of the back-and-forth action.

Many residents in Amador County are concerned about negative impacts from a casino, including increased traffic and other demands on county services.

Indian gaming casinos, however, have been good neighbors and community-minded in many cases. Jackson Rancheria (also in Amador County) and Black Oak Casino (in Tuolumne County) have had many positive impacts on the surrounding areas.

We urge the tribe and the county to move forward with good-faith efforts to resolve this dispute in a manner that focuses on compromise and overall quality of life for Amador County residents - and their neighbors."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Gambling on an agreement (The Stockton Record 3/17)