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Sun., Dec. 21
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Gray says vote no on casino gaming proposition

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MASSENA - When voters head to the polls to vote this Election Day, in addition to voting for a slate of local candidates, they will also be asked to vote on six propositions, two of which Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray voiced his opinions this week.

One resolution calls for the authorization of up to seven casinos to be built across the state.

“In my opinion that would be bad for our region,” Mr. Gray said. “I’ll be voting against it.”

Should several other casinos open in the state, Mr. Gray said he is worried that people currently going to the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino may elect to go elsewhere, which could negatively impact the town’s revenue.

“It could impact our revenue we receive from gaming compact funds,” he said, noting that money is based on a formula in which the payments received by the town are based on the money brought in by the casino.

According to the website Ballotpedia, the proposition will appear on the ballot as follows:

“The proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the Constitution would allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated. Shall the amendment be approved?”

Mr. Gray also expressed opposition to a resolution that would raise the retirement age for judges from 70 to 80.

“What is the harm in having a mandatory retirement age, even if it is 70,” Mr. Gray said. “They could move on and someone else would move up. It’s not a terrible thing.”

And while having a mandatory retirement age in this instance may not necessarily create an abundance of jobs, Mr. Gray said that in other fields it likely could.

“If you look across our whole economy, how many people are out there working who could be retired?” he asked.

This proposition will appear as follows:

“The proposed amendment to the Constitution, amending sections 2 and 25 of article 6, would increase the maximum age until which certain state judges may serve as follows: (a) a Justice of the Supreme Court would be eligible for five additional twoyear terms after the present retirement age of 70, instead of the three such terms currently authorized; and (b) a Judge of the Court of Appeals who reaches the age of 70 while in office would be permitted to remain in service on the court for up to 10 years beyond the present retirement age of 70 in order to complete the term to which that judge was appointed. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?”

Voters will also be asked to vote on four other propositions ranging from giving disabled veterans an advantage in the civil service process to allowing municipalities to exceed their debt limit for sewer-related projects.

Those propositions are as follows:

■ “The proposed amendment to section 6 of article 5 of the Constitution would entitle a veteran who has received civil service credit for a civil service appointment or promotion and subsequently is certified as disabled to additional civil service credit at a subsequent appointment or promotion. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

■ “The proposed amendment to Article 8, section 5 of the Constitution would extend for ten years, until January 1, 2024, the authority of counties, cities, towns, and villages to exclude from their constitutional debt limits indebtedness contracted for the construction or reconstruction of sewage facilities. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

■ “The proposed amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the Constitution would authorize the Legislature to settle longstanding disputes between the State and private entities over ownership of certain parcels of land in the town of Long Lake, Hamilton County. In exchange for giving up its claim to disputed parcels, the State would get land to be incorporated into the forest preserve that would benefit the forest preserve more than the disputed parcels currently do. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

■ “The proposed amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the Constitution would authorize the Legislature to convey forest preserve land located in the town of Lewis, Essex County, to NYCO Minerals, a private company that plans on expanding an existing mine that adjoins the forest preserve land. In exchange, NYCO Minerals would give the State at least the same amount of land of at least the same value, with a minimum assessed value of $1 million, to be added to the forest preserve. When NYCO Minerals finishes mining, it would restore the condition of the land and return it to the forest preserve. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?”

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