KITTERY – A casino critic from Connecticut warned a gathering in Kittery on Sunday that a casino could bring more traffic, more crime and more problems.
Nicholas Mullane, a selectman from North Stonington, Conn., told a group of more than 300 people that his town has been burdened by problems since the Foxwoods Resort Casino opened a decade ago next door to his town.
He said traffic has increased from 8,800 to 25,000 vehicles a day, and that the town had to pass an ordinance banning tour buses on secondary roads. Before the casino opened, he said, “we chased dogs, we chased cows. We were concerned about Little League.”
Now, he said, police in North Stonington worry about drunken drivers, embezzling, robberies and traffic.
Mullane spoke at Traip Academy at the request of a group of Kittery residents and Casinos No!, an anti-casino group formed in response to a proposal by the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe to build a casino in Kittery.
The casino proposal was withdrawn from the Legislature after Gov. Angus King said he would oppose the plan, but casino supporters have said they’ll be back next year.
Sunday’s meeting served as a rally of sorts for casino opponents.
State Rep. Mary Andrews, R-York, said that “up in the halls of the Legislature, I’m known as the casino lady.” Andrews, who is against a casino anywhere in Maine, said she has “the fight of my life on my hands right now.”
Her colleague, state Sen. Kenneth Lemont, R-Kittery, told the group that writing letters and organizing locally has helped casino opponents in the Legislature.
“Please stay focused and please help us with this matter,” he said.
Casinos No! is sponsoring another meeting, also at Traip Academy, on Tuesday night featuring Jeff Benedict, author of “Without Reservation,” a book that is critical of Foxwoods.