Friday, October 7, 2011

Complete introductory remarks of Mayor Dawn Zimmer and HMHA Chairwoman Toni Tomarazzo

Mayor Dawn Zimmer spoke Friday morning on saving Hoboken University Medical Center from the lobby to an audience of hospital employees. She described the members of Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority as "heroes."

The mayor noted the judge's ruling approving the creditors settlement and sale proves the allegations of impropriety made on the sale were "unfounded." She requested that local officials apologize for their attacks adding, "they know who they are."

HMHA Chairwoman Toni Tomarazzo also spoke and corrected the record on the allegations made by people who tried to undermine the sale and see the hospital closed.  She thanked both the mayor for her efforts to save the hospital and complete the sale keeping it open and also called the hospital's staff "heroes" for working through a trying time.  She noted they went through much distress when the fight to keep the hospital open was uncertain and days away from closure.

Tomarazzo called the success of the sale "vindication" for all their collective efforts stating they followed a singular public process.  "Shame on those who think we did otherwise," she said to the critics who tried to sabotage the sale that would have led to the hospital being closed this month.

Talking Ed Note:  It's a very sunny and beautiful day in Hoboken and saving the hospital known to many as St. Mary's makes it all the sweeter.  The efforts by Council members Michael Russo, Tim Occhipinti, Terry Castellano and especially Beth Mason to undermine the sale and lead others into a false belief there was another alternative, any alternative when they absolutely knew it would lead to the hospital's closure should never be forgotten.

More to come.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer's remarks as written for HUMC today

Remarks of Mayor Dawn Zimmer
Hoboken University Medical Center
Hoboken, New Jersey
October 7, 2011

As Prepared for Delivery—

Good afternoon. By now you’ve heard the great news -- that the federal bankruptcy Judge, Judge Steckroth, has approved the sale of Hoboken University Medical Center. This is the best possible outcome for the citizens of Hoboken; we will now be able to save our hospital and preserve the financial health of our City. This is a huge milestone and the final legal hurdle. We’re saving 1,200 jobs, maintaining our City’s and our County’s primary acute care medical facility and relieving our City of a $52 million bond guaranty that we could not afford and that had the potential to destroy our City’s finances.

There are many who deserve credit for this achievement.

First, I want to thank the heroes of the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority Board. These are volunteers who spend countless hours for no other reason than their desire to help their community. They worked tirelessly to get this deal done at great personal sacrifice. Let me introduce them to you. Some of them were able to be here with us, and some of them could not join us, but the people of Hoboken need to know their names: Toni Tomarazzo, Chair of the Board; Vincent Riccitelli, CEO of the hospital; Dr. Fayemi, Dr. Kozel, Eric Kurta, Jonathan Metsch, Steve Rofsky, Catherine Williams, Norman Wilson, and Tejal Desai.

These are the faces of committed volunteers who are the foundation of our community. Their contributions to our City have been invaluable. These individuals kept their eye on the ball, never losing focus even when their reputations were unfairly attacked.

The Judge’s ruling today makes it crystal clear that the allegations we’ve been reading about had no basis in fact or law. These were unfounded claims recklessly promoted by politicians and others in pursuit of their own personal agendas and unrelated to the best interests of our community. I call on the elected officials, both in Hoboken and elsewhere in the State, and they know who they are, who have promoted these allegations to immediately and publicly apologize to these heroes of Hoboken. This is important, because politicians all too often exploit the cynicism in their communities when it benefits their political purposes. It’s time that they be held accountable for their false and misleading statements.

I also want to thank the members of the City Council majority, Council President Bhalla, Vice President Cunningham, Councilman Mello, Councilwoman Marsh and Councilwoman Giatttino, for their trust and support. Last but certainly not least, I want to thank Governor Christie for stepping up and contributing $5 million to save our hospital when our own toxic politics was going to force it to close.

When I became Acting Mayor two years ago I knew this was something that we had to do, but I did not know whether it could be done.

Together we are making it happen, and on behalf of the City of Hoboken I say thank you.

Talking Ed Note: Complete video will follow.

- Posted at full gallop