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Friday, July 8, 2011

Public Hearing on Hospital Sale Set for July 21st

City of Hoboken announces:


MAYOR ZIMMER INVITES PUBLIC TO HEARING TO CONSIDER SALE OF HOBOKEN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER

State Health Planning Board Sets Meeting for July 21 to Consider Application to Sell Hospital to HUMC Holdco

The State Health Planning Board (the Board) will be holding a public hearing concerning the certificate of need application submitted to the Department of Health and Senior Services for the Transfer of Ownership of Hoboken University Medical Center to HUMC Holdco, under common ownership of Bayonne Medical Center.
The Board invites the public to comment on the application. All those wishing to make oral comments to the Board are invited to attend the public hearing on this application on Thursday, July 21, 2011. Comments will be limited to three minutes per person, although written comments may also be submitted at the same time. The Board will take comments from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The hearing will be at Our Lady of Grace Parish Hall, 422 Willow Avenue, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Directions to Our Lady of Grace can be found at: http://www.olghoboken.com.

Copies of the application are available for review at the Hoboken Public Library, 500 Park Ave., Hoboken, NJ 07030, the New Jersey State Library, and at the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

“It’s critical that citizens of Hoboken have an opportunity to discuss an issue of great importance to our entire community -- the future of Hoboken University Medical Center,” said Mayor Zimmer. “This hearing will give the State Health Planning Board members a chance to hear directly from our residents that HUMC is essential to their families. Our hospital cannot survive as a publicly-owned stand-alone community facility. If the sale to HUMC Holdco doesn’t go through, our hospital will close. That is unacceptable.”

Approval for a hospital “change of ownership” in New Jersey is a comprehensive process requiring the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to issue a Certificate of Need. The State Health Planning Board must hold a public hearing in the hospital’s service area, consider the CN application at an open public session, and then make a recommendation to the Commissioner.

“This transaction will save our hospital and lead to long-term benefits for our residents,” added Mayor Zimmer. “This new owner will maintain the hospital as the life-saving acute care unit that we deserve and release the City from its $52 million hospital bond guarantee financial obligation. This will allow us to finance other projects designed to improve our community’s overall quality of life. The new ownership will bring stability, access to capital, and the ability to compete in the hospital marketplace without dependency on state subsidies and cash advances. State subsidies are simply not guaranteed and are highly unlikely to continue at current levels given current economic conditions. Completion of this transaction is the best possible outcome for our community.”

Comments may also be submitted in writing after the hearing. Commenters are urged to make their comments concise. Written comments must be received by the State Health Planning Board no later than Friday, July 29, 2011 at the following address:

New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance
Market & Warren Streets
P.O. Box 360
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0360

The Board intends to review the application at an upcoming meeting. Notice will be published as to the meeting date during which the application will be reviewed. For further information, you may call the Department at 609-292-7874.

Hoboken residents are encouraged to contact the Mayor’s office directly if they have questions. Updates regarding the hearing and the hospital’s sale will be available at http://www.hobokennj.org.



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Did Rami Pinchevsky beat Tim Occhipinti in the 4th ward election?

Examining Tim Occhipinti's election campaign report doesn't only show questionable movements of money from his benefactor Beth Mason, much of that is  demonstrated in both the admitted wheeling and questionable money activities.  From a pure voter examination standpoint however, did Rami Pinchevsky in fact beat Tim Occhipinti in the May election?

Last fall's 4th ward special election extended to Hoboken some eye-opening voter trends.  In a race where less than a thousand votes historically determines the winner in the ward, the Tim Occhipinti campaign cranked out 500 paper vote-by-mail ballots alone.

This prophetic sign on lower Jackson St. foreshadowed what looks apparent in the 4th ward election again.  Tim Occhipinti's campaign has sytematically bought and paid for the margin of victory.

When the final tally came in, his campaign boasted they won the election on the machines.  MSV questioned that assessment and notes one longtime resident, Patricia Waiters went before the City Council not long ago citing her personal observation of voters paid with marked up currency to go and vote at the machines for Tim Occhipinti.

A public statement of such magnitude would usually garner attention but the press present ignored it along with her damning public testimony.

Hoboken we have a problem.

Now in the latest installment of Tim Occhipinti: 'How to buy votes and influence elections,' reader mcgato noted the balanced expenditures for both the paper ballots and the machine variety.  Clearly Tim Occhipinti's campaign decided an adjustment was in order.


$35 checks: 252 (mostly for vote by mail is my guess)
$50 checks: 262 (mostly election day is my guess)
$100 checks: 34 (I'm guessing an organizer bringing in a group of people, judging by the check numbering)

Vote By Mail for Tim: 276

This would mean that Tim's VBM that did not have a $35 check attached to them are about 24. Rami's VBM is 34. 


Machine votes for Tim: 747
This would mean that Tim's machine votes that did not have a $50 or $100 check is about 451
.  Rami's machine vote is 645.


Eliminating the money for votes would see a tally of Rami Pinchevsky over Tim Occhipinti 679 - 475.

Those figures would actually fit far better across the ward races on that day where summer like weather arrived and the overall turnout in the city was lower.

Or one could chalk up the four digit vote count to Tim Occhipinti as an "Analomy."
That's what David Cruz, the foul mouthed Occhipinti spokesman called the absurd ratio of paid vote-by-mail 'campaign workers' revealed by MSV leading into the fall election.

Does law enforcement see a pattern worth investigating here?

Council President Bhalla: 'We're about the People's Business'

From the desk of Council President Ravi Bhalla:



Dear Friends,

Being sworn in as City Council President
I write to report good news. Last Friday, July 1st, the City Council held its annual reorganization meeting. We welcomed our newest member, 6th Ward Councilwoman Jennifer Giattino and in doing so regained a Council majority that is willing to work with our Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

We also elected new officers. I am honored to report that my colleagues chose me to be our Council President and 5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham to be our Vice-President.

Most importantly, as the local press has noted, we did not waste a single moment in getting down to business. With determination, we immediately began working to bring fair, efficient, and honest government to our city.  Here are some of the highlights from the July 1st meeting:


Moving Municipal Elections to November

Do you think there are too many elections in Hoboken?  So do we!  The vast majority of towns in New Jersey have their local elections in November, but Hoboken has its local elections in May.  Last year, the New Jersey State Legislature passed a law permitting municipalities with May elections to move them to November.  At our July 1st City Council meeting, I introduced on ordinance that would do just that – schedule local elections in November, at the same time residents go to the ballot for federal, state and county offices.  This measure will increase voter participation and save thousands of tax dollars.  Please join me in supporting this measure when it is heard on second reading and final vote at the July 20th City Council meeting. The time of disenfranchising voters through holding multiple elections must come to a just end.


Campaign Finance Reform

It should not be cost prohibitive to run for local elective office.  Yet, in order to be competitive as candidate for city council or mayor, too many either need to be wealthy or accept support from developers and special interests that can greatly undermine impartiality in addressing the public good.  To help solve this problem, Council Vice-President Peter Cunningham has introduced two “anti-wheeling” ordinances which would prevent the circumvention of pay-to-play laws by placing limits on how much certain campaign committees can contribute in a local municipal election.  It is my hope that one of these measures is made law at the July 20th meeting.


1600 Park – It’s coming!

Hoboken has been without adequate soccer and other recreation space for our children since the collapse of the Sinatra pier. Accordingly, there has been a strong desire to fill this void by developing the large plot of land known as 1600 Park into a fully functioning active recreation space for soccer, football, baseball and other recreation.  At the July 1st meeting, the City Council passed a resolution awarding a contract to develop 1600 Park into an active recreation space in time for the fall soccer season. There were legitimate concerns expressed by stakeholders in the committee formed to review the design and construction of the initial phase of this project.  I share these concerns, but it was the will of the majority of the council to move this project forward.  As a result, I am cautiously optimistic that our children will finally have a large recreational field for sports as soon as of September of this year.  I remain committed, however,  to address the concerns raised by the stakeholders so that this project provides maximum benefit to the entire community.


Eliminating City Residency Requirement for City Employees and Hiring Class II Officers

We also introduced an ordinance that eliminates the residency requirement for Hoboken employees.  While we want to give Hoboken residents first preference for employment with the City, we also want to draw from the largest pool of talent in our county, state and country.  Simply put, having the best talent pool to choose from is what’s best for Hoboken. 

Finally, we introduced an ordinance providing the Hoboken Police Department the option to hire Class II police officers. Class II police officers can serve our City at a greatly reduced cost compared to the overtime rate paid to regular officers. 
--------------

As you can see, we have taken great strides, working alongside the strong leadership of Mayor Zimmer, to move our City ahead. My request of you is to attend the next City Council meeting at 7 p.m. on July 20th! Change does not come easily or without struggle. We need your voice to be heard!

Thank you, and if you ever have any questions or concerns, you can always reach my on my cell phone at 201-647-6090 or email at rbhalla@hobokennj.com.

Sincerely,
Ravi S. Bhalla
Councilman-at-Large
President, Hoboken City Council