DAD, GET ME OUT OF THIS!
FROM THE INQUIRER: A ballot question seeking to exclude casinos from residential areas cannot be stopped by court action, City Solicitor Romulo L. Diaz Jr. has advised Mayor Street. Diaz said that if the ballot initiative approved unanimously by Council last week is passed by city voters on May 15, it will eventually be voided by the courts because state law takes precedence over city codes.
Nevertheless, Diaz wrote Friday in a memo to Street, he cannot prevent the proposed amendment to the city charter from being voted on in the May primary election.
“Not even the courts . . . have the authority to interfere with placement of a lawfully proposed charter-change question on the ballot, even if the underlying proposal is presumed to be invalid,” Diaz wrote.
Diaz was ill yesterday and could not be reached for comment. Street last week said he would veto the Council’s legislation, though he has not yet made a final decision, spokesman Joe Grace said. He has until March 29 to act.
“The mayor indicated clearly last week he believes the bill is illegal and pre-empted by state law,” said Grace.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has promised to sue to stop the question from being voted on, arguing that the city cannot interfere with the board’s Dec. 20 licensing decision. SugarHouse and Foxwoods won the two Philadelphia licenses over three competitors – and the viability of each site was a critical factor in choosing the winners, according to the Gaming Control Board. [MORE]
EDITORIAL: The sheer volume of billable hours that lawyers will spend to ensure that voters are disenfranchised and the people of Philadelphia have NO SAY in the casino schemes is truly appalling and astonishing. At long last, Sirs, have you no sense of decency?