Opinion: 'Frustrating' casino discussions with sovereign nation

"The debate over the merits of a proposed Indian casino on the outskirts of Rohnert Park will continue on Tuesday evening at a special public hearing before the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. It's a huge project with huge implications, and as such tends to generate a huge amount of heat and hyperbole. Tuesday's session likely will be more of the same.

County leaders, who would have jurisdiction over the project had the property not been taken into trust as tribal land by the federal government, are holding Tuesday's hearing in advance of negotiations with the Graton tribe regarding potential mitigation measures for the casino impacts.

But, while negotiations are more than what ordinarily would be required from the tribe, the county remains at a “disadvantage,” according to today's front-page story by Jeremy Hay.

“We have very little leverage,” Supervisor David Rabbitt recently told a group of constituents.

Now, some may feel that's a good thing; they may believe that local government already wields too much power over private development. But even if that's the case, shouldn't any reduction in government's power to regulate land use apply to everyone?"

Get the Story:
Chris Coursey: Frustration with a sovereign nation (The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat 6/11)

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Graton Rancheria to enter into casino negotiations with county (6/11)