To the editor:
Seems like all we hear about these days is about when the KBIC is going to purchase the Baraga Lakeside and convert it into a new "Destination" casino.
Well I have a thought or two about all of this hullaballoo. First things I have to ask is why aren't we making money in the casinos we have now?
Sure they are old and probably need some updating or possibly even replaced. Has anyone ever talked to the customers and asked them what would make them more willing to gamble.
It may have something to do with how we are running them. One sure thing that will keep them coming back is "success" and how they feel they are treated. While nice shiny new things are comforting and nice they do cost money and we do not have an endless supply of it.
In my opinion money should get spent, but not at the Baraga location. I believe we need to relocate where the people are, like Marquette.
Ed Edwards who seems to be hell-bent on spending the tribe's last dime apparently doesn't remember when the tribe had nothing.
We were fortunate to get our first building, the old Assinins tribal center, for one dollar and over the years through many grants and economic development like casinos we have been able to accomplish a lot of things.
I am worried especially for our older population, that if we spend the kind of money Eddie is willing to spend on the Lakeside purchase many of their current benefits will end and not before too long either. Sovereignty itself costs a lot of money. If we are unable to pay for our Police, court and all the rest of the departments that help to make up what makes us Sovereign we will essentially lost that too.
Simply saying you are going to "build it and they will come" is a bit scary to me, especially when the current Executive Tribal Administration seems to be in a such a hurry to get rid of all of the "white people."
My common sense tells me that most people are not going to go where they are not welcome.
As a voting member of the KBIC I am asking that something as monumental as the purchase of the Lakeside be put to a vote of the entire membership and just the opinion a chosen few.