The city council is urging voters to oppose four ballot propositions that would increase the number of slot machines in four tribal casinos.

The Hesperia City Council approved a resolution at Wednesday night's council meeting that labels Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97 as setting a "dangerous precedent for future agreements between other tribes and the State and represent a dramatic shift in Indian gaming policy in the state of California."

The four propositions, if approved, would allow the Riverside and San Diego-based tribes to add additional slot machines to their casinos in return for turning over more revenue to the state. The propositions will appear on the February ballot.

But the vote wasn't without controversy.

The three council members who voted in favor of the resolution -- Mayor Mike Leonard, Mayor Pro Tem Thurston "Smitty" Smith and Councilwoman Rita Vogler -- all have previously voiced their opposition to the proposed Timbisha-Shoshone casino in Hesperia. On the other side of the fence was Councilman Ed Pack.

"The people are going to vote, so it doesn't matter what we do," Pack said.

"It does matter, Ed," Vogler responded, "We're leaders."

"We're not moralistic leaders," Pack said.

"Shoot, Ed, it'd hurt your casino," Vogler said. In 2003, Pack had voted in favor of an agreement between the tribe and the city.

"I'm not going to take a stance for or against this," Pack said. "I'm going to vote against [the propositions]. I thought you'd know that by now, but that's me as an individual."

"I think it's pretty said that our state has to rely on gambling to balance our budget," Leonard said.

The resolution was approved by a 3-1 vote. Councilman Tad Honeycutt did not attend Wednesday night's meeting. He voted against the Timbisha-Shoshone casino in 2003, but has since said he would abide by the results of 2004's Measure X ballot proposition, in which nearly 60 percent of voters approved the city's agreement with the tribe.

The next meeting of the Hesperia City Council will take place on January 16 at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at Hesperia City Hall, 9700 Seventh Avenue.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at