The Silver Lake Village Board on Wednesday tabled a resolution in support of approving a Menominee tribal casino in Kenosha, but not before several board members shared their views on the issue.
The Menominee Nation is seeking to locate a casino and entertainment complex at the site of the closed Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha. The project has received federal approval and now awaits approval by Gov. Scott Walker before it can move forward.
Project advocates say it will create more than 5,000 construction and permanent jobs.
In recent weeks, Western Kenosha County municipalities have been considering resolutions showing support for Walker signing off on the project. Randall passed a support resolution in September and Salem passed one Monday. Bristol also discussed a resolution but tabled it without a vote.
In Silver Lake, the resolution, introduced by Trustee Soti Wilber, was tabled after village President Sue Gerber asked to see copies of the resolutions that Randall and Salem passed.
Gerber said she was concerned about the implication of passing such a resolution that the village resident were unified as being behind the casino. Taking a positon in favor of the casino was more difficult than say taking a position in favor of a recreational trail, she said.
“I don’t know how I feel personally,” Gerber said. “To me it’s a personal issue. For the board to adopt a resolution for something like this, that’s saying that the community is behind you as well.” Gerber also said she knows people that have experienced extreme loss due to gambling addiction.
Trustee Mike Decker had a different take on gambling as an addiction.
“Gambling to me is not an addiction,” Decker said. “It can be, but it’s a form of recreation, just like people who go walking on the Ice Age Trail, like going downhill skiing … Thee’s always something that can go bad with anything … Anyone who knows me knows I am addicted to short track (car) racing. I stand behind (the casino) for the estimated 5,000 jobs it could bring to Kenosha County … I support this 100 percent.”
Trustee Patrick Dunn said he agreed with Decker and he supported the casino “for the money that this will generate for Southeast Wisconsin.”