Ethan adds: "This was an almost allegorical tale of a small grassroots campaign with volunteered time and money, soundly defeating a $3B corporation--Penn National Gaming, with no native involvement--whose deep pockets bought ads, signs, paid canvassers, etc., with all selectmen and the town manager signed on." The public votes on the slots parlor also gave townspeople tools to defeat this measure. By local law, they had to approve the zoning change, and by state law, the gambling establishment itself. "More often, townships fighting invasive corporations don't have such built-in mechanisms to work with," Ethan notes.
The slots parlor proposal was defeated at an open town meeting, at which every registered voter is welcome to come give input and participate in the final vote. Earlier in the year, though, Tewksbury's selectmen had proposed switching to representative town meetings, where voters elect a small slate of "town meeting members" to vote on their behalf. Ethan writes, "The town population soundly over-rode their selectmen and voted that down. If that hadn't happened, the casino would have been decided by elected representatives who would have been easy targets for the corporate campaign (as were the selectmen in this one)."