Mayor Walsh on Steve Wynn: ‘Maybe He’s Had Enough of the People of Boston’
Mayor Marty Walsh responded to Steve Wynn’s hostile comments about him in a Boston Globe column on Tuesday, saying that if the casino mogul has had “enough of” him, “maybe he has had enough of the people of Boston.”
Wynn trashed the mayor during an interview with Joan Vennochi that focused on the protracted fight between the city, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and Wynn Resorts over the planned $1.7 billion Everett casino project.
Walsh declined to rehash much of what was said in the column or what led up to it but he did say his door remains open to Wynn and his people to discuss the dispute.
The mayor raised eyebrows earlier this month when he relayed a phone conversation with Wynn that revolved around possible payments to the city. In the interview, Walsh said Wynn offered to pay a “nine figure” sum to the city to end the disagreement but Walsh rebuffed and said it was about giving the residents of Charlestown a chance to vote on it. Wynn officials denied that he mentioned such a sum during the conversation. On Tuesday, Walsh said he apologized to Wynn if he misinterpreted their discussion.
“He called me and said he never said that. ‘I said I spent hundreds of millions of dollars already in the Boston area.’ Maybe I misheard him. I don’t think I would mishear something like but I said to Mr. Wynn on the phone, ‘If I misunderstood, I apologize for that.’ I was very clear on the phone,” said Walsh.
In the column, Wynn said Walsh promptly hung up on him when he said there was no way Charlestown would be allowed to vote on the casino. Walsh disputed that.
“I don’t even know who hung up,” said Walsh.
Walsh said he thinks the entire situation does not help the city in its dispute with Wynn and the commission.
“It doesn’t help me at all. As we move forward from here, we’ve been very clear on what our intention is here in the city of Boston and what we want to do. I think it’s unfortunate where you have somebody that appears to get his way a lot and now he’s not getting his way and that’s how he responds. My phone is on, my door is open and any time the conversation wants to be had about this we will have a conversation,” said Walsh.
When asked about a vote in Charlestown being a guaranteed veto on the project given its recent opposition to casino gambling, Walsh said he was not so sure about that premise.
“You’re not voting on whether or not you want a casino in your backyard, what you’re voting on is the host community agreement that is negotiated. In East Boston, some people voted against the casino outright and I am sure some people voted against host community agreement that was negotiated. What the people of Charlestown would be voting on is technically not whether or not they want a casino but the host community contract,” said Walsh.