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Town Supervisor Race Was More About del Lago Than Candidates

hand dropping ballot in box
There was no referendum on the ballot for Tyre, New York this year. However, the Town Supervisor race ended up being a de facto litmus test for support of del Lago Casino. The Seneca County property in Waterloo, NY brought a tax windfall for Tyre. However, the candidates were on opposite sides of the casino issue.

In the end, the town sided with the incumbant, who strongly supports the casino.

Incumbant McGreevy promised tax cuts en route to victory

The incumbant candidate was Ron McGreevy. His tenure extends back to the start of the del Lago casino project. McGreevy strongly supported the new caisno from the very beginning.

Since then, McGreevy’s support of del Lago has not waivered, per the Finger Lake Times. This in spite of the fact that del Lago, like all upstate commercial casinos, is not living up to revenue expectations. In fact, of the three properties, del Lago is the biggest with the highest expectations. Yet, it is the casino missing the mark by the widest margin.

However, McGreevy points to the positives for Tyre thanks to del Lago. He noted a 50 percent tax cut in 2017. He also predicts a comparable tax break in 2018.

McGreevy also says the town’s nearly 1,000 residents benefit from the jobs del Lago offers. This especially after other major businesses in the area closed in the past couple of years. Currently del Lago employs roughly 1,500 people.

Opponent Lynn Barbuto was a strong opponent of del Lago

The other name on the Town Supervisor ballot was Lynn Barbuto. Her opposition of del Lago dates back as far as McGreevy’s support.

Barbuto’s attempts to block the casino’s construction include a wide range of attempts. She largely protested them for environmental reasons. She also questioned the safety of the entry road to the property.

Once the casino opened, Barbuto lamented the parking lot location. While del Lago was not allowed to relocate the historical cemetary located where the parking lot was slated to go, it was allowed to literally build the parking lot around the cemetary.

“I understand the development is here, but they also should show respect,” Barbuto said of the decision.

Barbuto was one of several local residents who tried to overturn the casino’s Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) agreement with Seneca County officials. The court denied the appeal.

McGreevy defeated Barbuto by a 195-64 margin

With both candidates known primarily for their stance on del Lago, the future of Tyre’s relationship with the property was essentially up for a vote this week.

The town overwhelmingly voted to stick with what they know on Tuesday. McGreevy defeated Barbuto by a 3-1 margin, securing his tenure as Town Supervisor.

That means, for the near future, Tyre will continue to call del Lago a positive development, even if the revenue is not.

Jessica Welman

About

Jessica Welman is a longtime member of the poker media. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the Managing Editor for WSOP.com. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Indiana University, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She has been involved for livestreams for the WSOP and WPT and worked as a consultant on many other poker productions. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.