Quantcast
 


Asked if the tribe should be allowed to have an advisory role in the development of the park, 61.6 percent of the respondents said no.
Here are some of the comments by those who participated in the survey:
——
“While I very much want to support the Indians, I don’t want to support the appearance of graft (taking money from people with a monetary interest in the result).”
——
“As the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria is a entity created to provide a shroud under which Station Casinos can have their way with our community, I don’t feel they should be given any opportunity to validate that position.”
——
“Tolay Lake is a very sacred place for the Native Americans. When it was taken away and the lake drained during General Vallejo’s time, a significant healing spot was lost for the western tribes. It would be wonderful to have this area restored and most certainly, the tribe should have an advisory role in the development of the park.”
——
“Tribal governments do not answer to any authority other than the federal government. They are not governed by county or state law. They have no right to participate in a county endeavor in any role because they declare themselves to be immune from county law.”
——
“It’s a bribe, nothing more. Any supervisor who votes for this loses our votes.”
——
“It needs to be clear before Sonoma County accepts the money that it is a no-strings-attached donation. If they decide not to give if they cannot have an advisory role, then so be it. Just because they have been given wealth does not mean they can use it for political access or power. That is not for sale.”
——
“The Board of Supervisors should not accept any donation for Tolay Lake Regional Park. Just leave it open space. Greg Sarris has lied before about a casino proposed in Rohnert Park. We do not want to become like Southern California. Open space is beautiful.”
——
“OK to accept the $500k donation with no strings attached. FIGR should have no partnership or advisory role of any kind. It should be subject to all county and local laws, just as would any other developer.”
——
“As long as no strings are attached, I think it’s great for the folks to become more integrated in the county, and kudos to them if that’s the case.”
——
“The tribe already has had an advisory role in park development and cultural and archaeological features. No way should Regional Parks accept this money from the tribe. This is the same bad precedent as the county supervisors ruining the Open Space District’s reputation by trying to approve mitigation for killed endangered species on land with an open space conservation easement for agriculture. Of course, it’s in the 2nd District. No surprise.”
——
“Who better to be stewards of their own land?”
——
“No matter what they say, this deal comes with strings attached.”
——
“The tribe already has the capability and opportunity to be engaged in the Native American historical and artifact preservation there. That was part of the overall agreement in the first place. This further tarnishes south Sonoma County and how we deal with park and open space issues from the county’s perspective. It is very sad. I don’t see the Graton Rancheria trying to offer money for any of the other regional park woes in the county. Toss a few bucks down in our area to buy influence. What else is new?”
——
“Dirty money. This is the problem with our society today is that money buys off anyone and anything.”
——
“Do not let a separate nation advise or have influence environmental health of public lands. Would you let France, Spain or Russia give advice and have influence? There is no free money. FIGR has ignored environmental concerns in other areas of the county where they own land. The negative impact on land, water, crime and traffic has been misrepresented in the casino dealings. Why do they want to donate? This is pristine land and I question their stewardship or motives for being involved. Vote no — represent the citizens of Sonoma County against Las Vegas money.”
——
“Follow the money.”
——
“If the gambling interests (aka Graton Rancheria) want to give the county $500,000, fine, but no strings attached. Since they bill themselves as a sovereign nation, why would the county want another ‘nation’ telling the county what to do. Current history between the tribe and Rohnert Park suggests that GR cannot be trusted to keep up their part of any mutual agreement. Furthermore, GR has been unresponsive to gross faults pointed out in the current EIR for the proposed casino in Rohnert Park. GR is just doing what the gambling interests dictate; that is purchasing influence.”
——
“If they want to donate, that is fine, but it is obvious that there are strings attached and FIGR is not bound by any county laws or regulations.”
——
“In ancient times, Tolay Lake was so important to the native people in California as one of the places shaman would come with rocks carrying the ills of people, in order to heal them. I would be delighted to have their advice in the development of the park. It’s the right thing to do.”
——
“I realize that this is the way our country is heading: big money ruling the communities who are struggling financially. My hope is that Petaluma can resist. Though, as indicated by the Target complex and potentially, the Dutra Corporation, I will not hold my breath. Still, I hope.”
——
“It’s just a schmoozing gesture for consideration of future casinos. They need to use the money to help those within their community that need the help, not trying to buy favor for casinos.”
——
“It’s not about the money for the park, it’s about building a casino in a community that doesn’t want it!”
——
“It is interesting that the same environmental and neighborhood concerns that some Petalumans had regarding the Target and Lowe’s centers, which the Argus editorial staff thinks are obstructionist, are the same environmental and neighborhood concerns that the Argus editorial staff supports against the Graton Rancheria casino, traffic, greenhouse gases, neighborhood degradation, etc.”
——
“I worry about the ‘perks’ they would request. For example, when my 8-year-old went on a school field trip to a park in Novato, the tour guide explained that ‘casinos are good for Indians!’ I was shocked. When I inquired as to why she would encourage gambling to 8-year-olds, the woman explained that they had to because the board of directors (aka the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria) required it in exchange for their donations. I have been told that the city of Novato did not know about this and has since put a stop to this practice. I have not verified this.”
——
“Just be sure there is no conflict of interest.”
——
“Leave the land alone. You wanna build a casino? Build it in Rohnert Park. Not in Petaluma. It’s bad enough we’re getting stuck with a Target.”
——
“No! Plain and simple. This is clearly an attempt by the FIGR to ‘purchase’ political favor they can bring to bear when it comes down to seeking help to get the casino built. Witness their efforts in Rohnert Park. $500,000 is a lot of money and I’m sure would be welcome. However, the strings that are attached are connected to a project a majority of Sonoma County residents do not want.”
——
“No new casino or expansion of an existing casino anywhere in Sonoma County!”

——
“Pardon me for being a little circumspect. I’d say thank you for the gift, but is there an ulterior motive — is it some sneaky way for the future casino-ification of that land? Just like there are too many vineyards being proposed, there are too many gambling casinos in the area.”
——
“Private interests continue to hijack and drain (or scheme to drain) the resources of cherished public services such as Social Security and our public schools. Can we please just prevent them from having that kind of influence at the local level, where we still have a modicum of control and oversight?”
——
“Take the money … we are broke. Thank the progressive politicians for ruining California.”
——
“The conditions on which the park is receiving donations is not a donation at all, it is with strings attached. As usual, a backroom deal outside of the residents of this community. Let’s understand that the money behind FIGR is not concerned with this community beyond its ability to make the proposed $1 billion in revenue from the local gambling pockets. That money will leave our community forever. Everything FIGR does is with a string attached to it. It is of my opinion that several of our supervisors think this is a great idea. Might we see where their campaign dollars came from, I think we might be surprised.”
——
“The FIGR’s depth of knowledge with regard to the environment and environmental law is shallow at best. We in Sonoma County need to embrace and care for our land for all to enjoy. Linda M. Long”
——
“The FIGR is not an agency. It is a federally-sponsored ethnic club. Buying their way in to control of government operations is now standard modus operandi for the FIGR and all too many other corporate operations, for that matter.”
——
“The irony here is that one of the reasons put forward to justify overspending to buy the Cardoza Ranch was that if the county didn’t buy it, it would become a casino.”
——
“The Native American ‘tribes’ are running this state, with a lot of our tax dollars. They buy off elected officials in Sacramento and then refuse to admit it via donation information, claiming ‘sovereign state’ status. Check out the Fair Political Practices Commission website: www.fppc.ca.gov
——
“The tribe and local Native American residents already have input into the planning process and archaeological areas there. I don’t know why you are doing this survey. The approval of the inappropriate donation is already on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda to approve for Aug. 9, so the money is being accepted. It is a terrible idea and it is also money that should not be accepted. Who cares if the planning process is slow? Hardly anyone uses this park or land anyway.”
——
“The tribe is using money no doubt borrowed from Station Casinos to bribe Sonoma County into supporting their casino proposal, yet again. This is what happens when gambling industry investors don’t care about anything except making more money for themselves, and throwing bones to the community that they are willing to abuse to get their way. Bad business. Bad public policy. Don’t take the money; it is ugly, corrupt and corrupting.”
——
“They already have a role in planning and archaeological oversight. Only in the 2nd District — a proposed and approved asphalt plant, challenged in the courts now so the community can protect the community. A quarry proposed and approved on pastoral Roblar Road, challenged in the courts so the community can protect the community. And now $500,000 from the Graton Rancheria to ‘help’ with planning for the Tolay Lake Park that no one visits anyway. Such a disconnect between the 2nd District county activities and what is best for the people who live in the 2nd District.”
——
“This $500,000 is more means to obscure the truth from the people. The Tolay Creek (not lake) property is a white elephant, a joke and an insult for a park. The whole story of the purchase by the Open Space district for an insanely over-inflated price while neighbors tried to buy it has never been written. The legal quagmire over access to the property has been hidden from the public as well. The property is mostly open pasture with salt-laden soil too poor to grow enough grass to graze cattle on. It is highly probable that any Native American artifacts ever found there were planted. The actual Native American site is west of there at what is now Olompali State Park. Items there were carbon dated from between 5,000 and 10,000 years old. Olompali has trees, wildlife and year-round fresh water available. Tolay has none of that. If you were a Native American thousands of years ago, where would you prefer to live? Now that’s a story that deserves telling.”
——
“What’s the issue?”

Be Sociable, Share!