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Lemay favors Pinnacle proposal, reader says

Letter to the editor

To the editor:

In a letter to the editor in your March 4 edition, Ruth Speh commented on the biased reporting of Alyson E. Raletz in regard to the public meeting at Mehlville Senior High School on Feb. 4 concerning a south county casino.

I attended that meeting and I felt that Ms. Raletz's article was an accurate account of the meeting.

First, let me point out that I am an Oakville resident and I am the executive director of the Lemay Development Corp. and the Lemay Chamber of Commerce.

Both of these organizations have endorsed the proposal by Pinnacle Entertainment for the former National Lead site in Lemay.

Denny Coleman, chief executive officer of the St. Louis County Economic Council, conducted an exceptionally fair meeting.

Mr. Coleman called on every single person who completed a comment card, alternating pro and con. Those speaking for the Lemay casino represented a stunning majority.

Ms. Speh indicated that most of those in the audience who were in favor of Pinnacle were union workers from "as far away as Florissant."

Yes, there were a large number of union workers, most of whom live in south county. It is interesting to note that few, if any of those who spoke against the casino, were Lemay or even south county residents.

Many of them were from out of town.

Yes, the union workers were holding Pinnacle signs — which were not paid for by Pinnacle, as she assumed. However, had Ms. Speh talked to people in the audience, she would have learned that the largest component of those in attendance were Lemay residents and other Lemay stakeholders. We were all holding "Pinnacle Yes" signs.

Each time legalized gambling in St. Louis County has been on the ballot, county residents have voted overwhelmingly in favor. Likewise, so have Lemay residents — with an average of 69 percent voting for gaming.

I want your readers to know how strongly the Lemay community is in favor of the Pinnacle Entertainment development and how crucial the entire development — not just the casino — is to our future.

Barbara M. Hehmeyer


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