Dear Mr. Sheehy:
We write to express great disappointment with comments by the MMAC against the Menominee Indian Tribe’s proposed Kenosha casino, a major economic development priority for Kenosha and Racine counties and one that would bring more than 5,000 new jobs to the region.
As members of the M7 regional cooperative economic development partnership, we are dismayed that the leader of M7 would come out publicly against a major job-creating project that two member counties wholeheartedly support and have worked for many years to make a reality. Your recent letter to Gov. Walker expresses a view that is neither “regional” nor “cooperative” and runs counter to the entire spirit of M7. Your position is aimed squarely at killing thousands of new Southeast Wisconsin jobs.
The Kenosha casino will create regional jobs, not shift them. Credible economic studies by KlasRobinson QED and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP identified serious flaws with claims of Milwaukee job losses. The BIA agreed, writing in its approval, “Milwaukee will face some indirect detrimental impacts as a result of Potawatomi Bingo Casino facing new competition; however, it will be relatively minor and short term.”
We respect the relationship the Forest County Potawatomi have had with the MMAC. But leading the M7 is about more than maintaining fruitful sponsor relationships. You have a responsibility to each and every county the M7 claims to represent. Your signature on a letter intended to kill a project that could help Kenosha and Racine counties and give thousands of Southeast Wisconsin families the opportunity for new jobs flies in the face of that responsibility.
The Kenosha casino is the biggest job creator and economic boost our community and region has seen in many years. Yet you opposed it without even consulting with the M7 members your actions would most affect, and you based that opposition on inaccurate data and flawed reasoning. This is the M7, not the M5. If we are going to work together as a region, then let us do it in practice, and not just on paper.
Keith Bosman, Mayor of Kenosha
John Dickert, Mayor of Racine
Jim Kreuser, Kenosha County Executive
Jim Ladwig, Racine County Executive