Danville City Council members should be consideration of the three proposals the city received by developers interested in constructing a casino — with the exact site yet to be determined. It’s an important decision, and one that should be done with as much transparency as possible.
When Illinois lawmakers finally approved a casino license for Danville after years of local efforts, we encouraged local officials to fully inform the public of each step along the way. The best way to stop rumor and fictitious stories from making the rounds is by presenting the facts — all of them — for the public to view.
A committee appointed by the mayor recommended a site to construct the casino near Lynch Road and Interstate 74 on the city’s far east side. While that committee operated quietly, it did offer up information on all of the sites it considered when making its decision.
Now city officials will make the important choice of which of the three casino proposals to accept. Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said last week they will share the winning proposal, but not the other two.
Why not? Those who made the proposals could not have expected their offers to be kept secret if they had been selected. So what’s the problem with revealing all three proposals as much as the law allows?
The details of the winning proposal are sure to be gone over line by line both by those who like the city’s choice and certainly by those who do not. So why not share all three proposals so that the public can see why the winner was selected?
Unfortunately, Illinois has a reputation of under the table deals and secret agreements when it comes to projects such as casinos. And just as unfortunately, much of that reputation is earned with four governors sent to prison during the past 50 years or so.
So why not make this important choice for the city in the bright light of public scrutiny? Eliminate the whispers and rumors and release the details of all three casino proposals. It’s the right thing to do.