Glendale, tribe will open talks on casino









“Forget not thy dreams and aspirations for if you do, you will continue to live – but cease to exist”!

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By Caitlin McGlade, The Republic |

Negotiations will begin between the Tohono O’odham Nation and Glendale — two parties long divided by a bitter silence, lawsuits and legislation.

The Glendale City Council remains officially opposed to the tribe’s plans to build a casino near its sports and entertainment district, but the council majority moved to oppose federal legislation that would block the casino and directed staff to start talks with the tribe.

In the coming weeks, the council will vote whether to formally oppose Arizona Rep. Trent Franks’ bill that would forbid more casinos in metro Phoenix until 2027.

The southern Arizona-based tribe has slogged through a storm of opposition from the city, the state and other Arizona tribes since leaders announced plans in 2009 to land reservation territory on a county island near Glendale and build a casino resort.

Previously: Residents take on Council in Glendale casino debate

The state, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Gila River Indian Community argue that the Tohono O’odham Nation’s casino plans break a state gaming compact that implicitly limits the number of casinos in metro Phoenix. A federal judge ruled the compact does not contain a prohibition, but opponents appealed.

Glendale argues that the U.S. Department of the Interior should not grant the tribe reservation status on land surrounded by city limits. The department is reviewing its initial approval, by request of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and will release its updated decision soon.

Glendale’s shifting tone is largely symbolic at this point, as many other hurdles block the Tohono O’odham’s plans, and the two opposing tribes have attested they will continue to wage legal war, with or without Glendale’s help.

“I’m not going to stand back, I’m not going to sit down, and I’m certainly not going to lay down,” said Diane Enos, president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Jr. said he isn’t as concerned about the other barriers, as the courts have consistently ruled in the tribe’s favor. The opportunity to negotiate with Glendale, he said, moves the tribe closer to its goal.

Tohono O’odham leaders have had numerous meetings with Glendale management since the council set staff on a “fact-finding mission” in October to determine the impact a casino resort would have on city resources.

The move broke a more than four-year silence between the tribe and city.

City leaders have long argued the tribe’s plans would burden police and firefighters and draw business away from the Westgate Entertainment District and other local businesses.




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I am a successful Commercial Investment Real Estate Broker in Arizona now for 20 years and I worked with banks and their commercial REO properties for 3 years. I am also a commercial landspecialist in Phoenix and a Landspecialist in Arizona.





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