Hiring Put on Hold for Wynn Casino

The City of Somerville is challenging a key state environmental permit

Wynn Resorts cranked up the pressure Wednesday on Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone to drop his opposition to the planned $1.7 billion Everett, Massachusetts, casino.

In a rally at the casino construction site off Route 99, leaders of construction and hospitality unions joined Wynn's Robert DeSalvio and Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria urging Curtatone to drop his challenge of a key state environmental permit.

DeSalvio said Wynn remains confident the project will proceed. But for now, DeSalvio said, they're freezing 4,000 planned job hires and cancelling seven job fairs.

DeMaria said: "This is just politics, politics at its worst ... Let's stop the BS." DeMaria said he was prepared to bring hundreds of people to Curtatone's office to demonstrate public support for the casino.

Curtatone, responding to Wynn in a Somerville City Hall pres conference late Wednesday, said the city had made clear for years it does not believe Wynn has come up with adequate plans to control traffic and pollution problems. He accused Wynn of starting construction early, before environmental reviews and appeals are done, to create pressure on Somerville.

"We hope those jobs come," Curtatone said. "But the impacts of this project must be mitigated first ... All we're doing is exercising our rights under the law, our rights for the things that we believe in."

Curtatone added that members of what he called "an armada" of Wynn consultants and lobbyists and publicists warned him that "this is going to be personal, it's going to get vicious, and it's going to get political. Hey, I'm up for the task," Curtatone said.

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