I have lived here for 40 years. My husband and I farmed, we made
and lost money. We began developing land. We had over 600
employees, most of them from here. Some of you live in our homes,
Southside Estates is one.
I have lived here for 40 years. My husband and I farmed, we made and lost money. We began developing land. We had over 600 employees, most of them from here. Some of you live in our homes, Southside Estates is one. If we had put up the wall after I came, many would not be here, neither would your home.
I read that people against the casino say it is because the investors are all about money, that they will make money and none of it will stay here, that there won’t be jobs, that they aren’t from here. On the same page, it says the YMCA needs $15 million. It’s all about money. Businesses, families, everything needs money. Who ever knows who all the investors in a project are? Who invested and owns Goodwill, Kmart, Safeway, Ace Hardware, or even the golf courses? Are they from here?
The big stores hurt little stores. We need jobs and homes. We don’t want development, or people. Our sewer will not allow growth for years. Businesses won’t come here because they need more people to make money. In Palo Alto, investors, builders and business owners talk about us and why they won’t come here. We have a reputation of not working with “outsiders,” and we say no to everything that means we will grow. Having the supervisors decide without all the information proves them right. You want a wall up.
No matter what you want today, things will change. Today, we have choices and a chance to work with a business that wants to come, that is pledging funds to help us out of our financial problems. If we don’t meet with them, and if they come, we have nothing that they have to agree to. We won’t get any choices. If they leave, we won’t get any choices. I hear that the casino is feeding on our bad decisions. They aren’t here because of our bad decisions, but they could help solve them.
Do you want to pay for bonds for hospitals, schools, roads, sewer, for Highway 25? We are the traffic on 25 going to leave our money outside our home. This will turn it around. Where will jobs for kids come from next year? Five years from now the kids will be grown with no jobs. Jobs that might save our kids from gangs, drinking and drugs.
Right now we don’t have enough money for sheriff, police, firemen, training services and prevention of crimes and it is hurting all of us. We already have crime, and no matter what, crime will get bigger because the people are angry because they don’t have any choices.
I don’t prefer sewer ponds to a resort at the entrance to our town. I would like to be on a committee to meet with casino and community people. They have talked about shuttles to our towns, restaurants, golf courses. They want to work with us, not against us. A lot of people would stay at the resort and shop downtown. If the casino moves to another town, we will go there and buses will go there. Our dollars will go there. Our money. Of course everything we agree on should be in writing. I feel that the supervisors did not give them a chance to negotiate.
Do not be afraid of losing power or losing our smallness. They are not a big fish threatening us, and we are not little fish. If we were, the pond would just get bigger for all of us. Years ago, my husband and I attended a president’s inauguration. We were told that we were influential in our community. I have nothing to gain, I am not an investor, my children are grown and left here.
I would give up any power I had for our home to get a boost financially, and step into a new future where young and old have jobs, so they have money.
Tina Bertuccio, Hollister