(HOLYOKE, Mass.) (WGGB)– The city of Holyoke will soon have its youngest mayor in history.
22-year old Alex Morse defeated incumbent Elaine Pluta Tuesday night.
One issue during the campaign was that of a proposed casino for Holyoke.
The proposed casino would be located at the Wycoff Country Club in Ward 7. Residents in that ward strongly opposed a casino.
So what happens next?
Hard Rock International Partner Tony Cignoli says they will go ahead with plans to build a casino in Holyoke despite the realization that the mayor elect is against it,” Hard Rock Cafes are global and casinos as well, from Paris to Dubai, they have done a lot of homework about coming to Holyoke, and they’d like to be able to present that homework to the new mayor and the new councilors as well,” says Cignoli.
Meanwhile Mayor Elect Alex Morse says he will continue his opposition to a Holyoke casino,” As mayor I will stand up for the values I stood up for throughout this campaign, and that is I do not want a casino in the city of Holyoke,” says Morse.
Alex Morse may be opposed to a casino but he can’t stop it alone.
A five member gaming commission to be appointed by the governor would select the site.
And what would Morse do if the commission selects Holyoke as a casino site,” If the gaming commission and the governor choose Holyoke then I’ll be ready and prepared to have the best deal for the citizens of the city of Holyoke, making sure it’s giving back to the community in a tangible way, a healthy way, preserving and respecting our neighborhoods,” says Morse.
Meanwhile Hard Rock International’s Tony Cignoli feels they have a persuasive argument for the mayor elect,” It’s an awful lot of jobs right away, the other thing is that casinos aren’t what they used to be, it’s not the slot machines and games of chance and what not, this is an entertainment destination and resort casinos, there’s an awful lot of high tech jobs here, one of the big platforms of his campaign, internet stuff, high tech jobs, we’re prepared to show that to him,” says Cignoli.
Alex Morse says casinos are not his top priority.
On day one he says he’s going to create a marketing plan to attract new companies to Holyoke around technology and art, taking advantage of the new high performance computing center that’s coming to Holyoke.
In addition before a casino could ever be built in Holyoke, voters would have to decide the issue in a referendum vote.