Thursday, October 27, 2011

Death Match 2011: Mayor Zimmer vs MORTe with the hospital's life and Hoboken's financial health the stakes

With a call for yet another special City Council meeting this Sunday, the Zimmer Administration takes another turn to stave off the Beth Russo hydra in what can only be accurately described as a full on death match over the hospital and Hoboken's very financial health the stakes.

The latest move to get Hoboken University Medical Center to the finish line - and alive - involves a deft maneuver shifting to a special meeting where five votes via resolution scores a win.

Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin stated Wednesday night the hospital could not meet its payroll and an emergency resolution was required to align the hospital's closing on the sale the next day.  The emergency resolution requiring six votes promptly failed 5-4 vote along party lines.

Beth Mason's still aims to kill the hospital.  She's doing it she says, "for the taxpayers."

The hospital sale stands in a deteriorating satellite position, unable to maintain its orbit and slowly crashing to earth with each passing second.  The closing of the sale to Holdco scheduled yesterday was cancelled due to the question of the "enforceability" of the parking agreement - as stated in a letter by Holdco released earlier yesterday.  (Available on page 3 of City Hall's release below.)

Wednesday night the City Council majority discovered the emergency resolution requesting a waiver of the 20 days normally needed to make the parking agreement effective immediately required six votes.

The Beth Russo hydra or MORTe quickly acted to oppose the move that would cost Hoboken zero and everything to gain.  One simple yay vote among MORTe would have put the whole hospital matter to rest, saving the 150 year institution and with it defease a $52 million bond guarantee hanging over Hoboken resident's heads.  It's unknown if they knew their votes would keep alive their consistent effort to sabotage the hospital's sale.

Regardless of who knew what on the emergency resolution vote, the latest legal tactic by the Zimmer Administration is sure to enflame the City Council further with the supporters of the mayor likely to back the latest resolutions Sunday while MORTe (Mason, Occhipinti, Russo and Terry Castellano) will once again look to undermine the hospital and attempt to finish it off by running out the clock.  A millisecond won't pass before they then point the finger and blame the mayor.

The sabotage of Hoboken isn't over with the artificially created $4.5 million deficit courtesy of MORTe.  They could have easily chose to save the city $50,000 annually in a refinance of the midtown garage.  Instead they choose to harm Hoboken as a cynical ploy to regain power putting City workers in the line of fire with layoffs.  The hospital is yet in their sights.

As if the stakes are not already sufficiently high, the City is not certain the legislation's passage on Sunday will finally end the matter.  Councilwoman Beth Mason who verbally stood behind the mountains of misinformation she has been feeding the public over months on the hospital sale at the last meeting, may now take the next step and put together an army of lawyers to take on the City in yet a new front in a war where her ultimate objective is the death and shuttering of Hoboken University Medical Center.

Beth Mason and her MORTe allies say they take these actions such as voting down the refinancing of the midtown garage "for the taxpayers" even as their actions tell a completely different story.

The City just failed to obtain approval for an emergency appropriation to cover various legal costs for the bankruptcy on the hospital and related rent control snafus that are an outgrowth an almost continuous fight between rent control tenants and small homeowners.

The request for first $600,000 upped to $700,000 at the meeting was immediately denounced by Beth Mason.  Considering the failure to get those  legal bills paid, Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin said he would advise those performing legal services for the City to cease the next day.

How that affront to the legal community will empower the City to retain assistance and enter into a blood and guts legal battle with Beth Mason is completely unknown.  Law firms do initial work on appropriation and anticipate good will for the extra man hours required to fulfill the due diligence necessary to get the work done.  But the City's standing in the legal community is not faring well after the rejection on paying its legal beagle bill Wednesday night.

Yesterday, a letter from Holdco's attorney confirmed the veracity of Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin's urging the City Council to vote to make effective immediately the passed parking agreement so the hospital could close Wednesday.  The letter stated the closing did not take place as the terms were not met based on the action the previous evening by the City Council - actually the Beth Russo hydra.

MORTe stood united once again to shoot down the resolution that required a two-thirds approval of six votes.  That unity gave life to Beth Mason's year long effort to see the hospital sale undone.

Actions for weeks leading into the closing left the Hoboken Hospital Authority no room to maneuver.  The hospital sale to Holdco is either completed or the hospital is closed.  Even with this stated repeatedly, MORTe has acted at best cavalierly and at worst with conspiratorial contempt to bring about the worst outcome.

If anyone doubted their bad intentions on the hospital and Hoboken overall, within the span of a just two weeks, MORTe voted down a bond refinance for the midtown garage even with advanced warning doing so would cause City layoffs while sucking the oxygen out of the hospital sale since.

Alternatively, MORTe also sneered at the refinance adding $50,000 annually to the City, embracing destruction for the workers they claim to represent. Their verbal denials on culpability are just a snippet of their plans to come.

With the latest showdown set, the Zimmer Administration must be already searching for a way to put together an army of lawyers after Sunday's special council meeting.  Awaiting them on the other side will be an equally strong or stronger team of lawyers ready to do battle paid for by Beth Mason's husband Ricky.

Talking Ed Note: Are you ready for a war?  There's nothing less at stake than the hospital and the City's very financial health.