As expected, a very good crowd turned out Monday for the Winthrop Chamber/Winthrop Luncheon featuring Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo and State Senator Anthony Petruccelli.
The senator had the tough task of delivering a bleak picture of the stateâ€™s current economic condition, calling it the worst in many years. Winthrop residents know firsthand of this dilemma, as Town Manager James McKenna faces the difficult task of having to cut roughly $770,000 from the budget in the coming weeks.
Speaker DeLeo gave an informative speech that showed his knowledge of the issues facing the state. Bob received his proper due from the audience for not allowing the tolls to increase for Winthrop residents traveling through the Sumner Tunnel. The toll increase had been projected to be as high as $7, but our Bob wouldnâ€™t allow that to happen.
It seemed that the crowd really wanted the speaker to address the slots/casino issue in a more extensive manner, and he did speak on what is surely going to be the most watched debate of the fall session. One can imagine how closely Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire (who reportedly are considering expanded gaming as well) residents will be watching the speaker and his 159 colleagues debate the gambling issue. With Suffolk Downs right next door, Winthrop residents have a big stake in the Legislatureâ€™s decision whether to allow slot machines or a full casino resort in East Boston.
Overall, both Bob and Sen. Petruccelli brought their â€œAâ€ game to the podium, answered each question directly from guests during the Q & A period, and made it an enjoyable and informative luncheon. Plus, the food (catered by Letterieâ€™s Italian Market) and company were great.