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February 1, 2008

CLOVERDALE, CA - The Cloverdale Rancheria has applied to the federal government to have land in Cloverdale approved for a reservation and eligible for Indian gaming. The land is a 25-acre parcel next to Highway 101, which they are purchasing with financial backing from a consortium of Alaskan tribes.

Although a casino is years away from final approval by federal and state officials, the Cloverdale City Council is considering placing an advisory measure on the November ballot to determine whether residents would support or oppose the casino.

"We are going to be making a recommendation to put it on the ballot," said Mayor Jessalee Raymond. "It's mostly an opinion poll. There's no guarantees, even if we put our referendum vote out there, whether it will happen or not."

The consensus in the City Council by opponents to the casino is a "no vote" would delay the Cloverdale Rancheria's application.

The Cloverdale Rancheria leaders have said they want to ensure their project will benefit both the city and the tribe. Chairwoman Patricia Hermosillo said the tribe has "a willingness to have a constructive dialogue and not act unilaterally."

When the governor's office was asked about the Cloverdale casino issue, a spokeswoman Sabrina Lockhart said "The governor will negotiate in good faith with any federally recognized tribe with gaming-eligible land."

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