Boston attends meeting with Wynn officials

Two feuding sides talk transportation with Pollack

OFFICIALS FROM BOSTON AND WYNN RESORTS, whose bosses have been publicly feuding and battling each other in court, sat down together with state Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack on Thursday to discuss long-term solutions to traffic congestion in Sullivan Square.

Pollack last tried to convene a working group on the issue in early June, but city officials refused to attend, citing Mayor Marty Walsh’s lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Walsh alleges the commission used a “corrupt process” to award a license to Wynn for a $1.7 billion casino and hotel in Everett.

On Thursday, however, James Gillooly, deputy commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department, came to the meeting. In fact, statements from the various parties suggested some progress was made amid little acrimony.

Wynn is trying to obtain a state environmental permit for its project and state officials have urged the Las Vegas company to sit down with all the various parties and work out a long-term plan for dealing with congestion in Sullivan Square. Boston officials have insisted that a casino just across the border in Everett will worsen an already bad traffic situation in Sullivan Square.

Bonnie McGilpin, a spokeswoman for Walsh, issued a statement after the meeting that sounded almost hopeful, given the bitter infighting among the parties in recent weeks and over the last several months.

“Now that representatives from the city of Boston have had the opportunity to explain the city’s plans for Sullivan Square and Rutherford Avenue and discuss the deficiencies in the proponent’s suggestions, we look forward to working out a mutually beneficial plan going forward that will address the congestion in this area,” McGilpin said.

Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver said the company “was pleased to participate in the meeting and we look forward to working with Secretary Pollack as the process moves forward.”

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Bruce Mohl

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About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Michael Verseckes, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation, said the agency appreciated that representatives from Boston, Everett, and Wynn all came to the meeting.  He said their comments will be helpful as the agency critiques Wynn’s plans for easing congestion in the area around the proposed casino. Comments on Wynn’s application for the state environmental permit are due Aug. 21.

Verseckes said the state also offered to convene meetings with Boston, Somerville, and Everett officials to coordinate a regional approach to future development that may affect the Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square areas.