The city of Hamilton plans to hold two public meetings in the next month to get input into the casino issue.
Members of the gaming facility subcommittee voted Thursday to pull together one meeting at city hall and one in Flamborough before council grapples with the issue on Dec. 12.
Coun. Judi Partridge pressed for one of the forums to be in Flamborough.
"Flamborough has been left out of this whole casino discussion, which is crazy to me," she said.
Council has been weighing the issue of a casino since earlier this year, when the province ended its Slots at Racetracks program. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) operates 801 slots at Flamboro Downs, providing $4.4 million to the city each year.
The Flamboro Downs lease ends on March 31, and the OLG has asked Hamilton for a resolution saying that it supports a gaming facility elsewhere in Hamilton. Council is now charged with getting as much feedback as possible from residents ahead of making a decision.
Not everyone on the committee was in favour of two public meetings. Mayor Bob Bratina cited a recent meeting in Ward 1 where "it was all said."
"I can't think of anything that would cross my mind that I didn't hear a response to" at that meeting, he said.
Coun. Terry Whitehead, who has been working with Couns. Tom Jackson and Scott Duvall on a Hamilton Mountain meeting, also protested. A significant amount of work on his public meeting has already been completed, he said. He just needs about $6,000 from the city for technology costs.
Whitehead said after the meeting that he might still hold his meeting.
The city also plans to get feedback via a large-scale phone survey. Coun. Sam Merulla moved Thursday to have staff present potential survey questions to councillors over the next month.
OLG president and CEO Rod Phillips will appear before the gaming facility proposal subcommittee on Nov. 9. Committee members will ask Phillips about the feasibility of Hamilton having no casino, maintaining gaming only in Flamborough, and having a casino anywhere in the city, anywhere but downtown or only in downtown.