Saturday, October 15, 2011

Guest of the Stable: Greg Lincoln - Remember who voted to kill the Hoboken University Medical Center


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Just over a week ago, against all odds, our community hospital was saved from the brink of closure. Many thanks to the hard work and dedication of Toni Tamarazzo and the rest of the hospital board, to Mayor Zimmer for her perseverance, and to Governor Christie for his action to save the hospital and the Hoboken taxpayers from those who voted to kill the hospital.

How could anyone with good conscience vote to saddle their town with an immediate $52+ million dollar burden, flush away 1,200+ jobs in the community, and close the acute care facility they claimed to want to remain open? That is a question that Michael Russo, Beth Mason, Tim Occhipinti, and Teresa Castellano have yet to answer.

The recklessness of those city council members nearly closed our hospital and brought our city to financial ruin. Had the Governor not stepped in, the consequences of their vote to not bond for the $5 million to settle would have resulted in a massive tax hike (possibly 50%), slashed city services, city employee layoffs, and a debilitated credit rating for our city (in addition to the hospital closure and lost jobs).

 “It is completely unacceptable that the City Council placed local politics ahead of the 1,300 employees at the Hoboken University Medical Center and the people in the community who rely on the critical services provided by this hospital,” Governor Christie said in a statement. “This administration is not going to allow political bickering to put this hospital in jeopardy and potentially have a negative and irresponsible impact on the city’s finances.”

Russo, Mason, and company worked diligently to sabotage the hospital sale at every stage of the process. Michael Russo lied to the public, claiming that the Hospital Board didn’t have the authority to conduct the sale process. Beth Mason spent what appears to be thousands of dollars to broadcast misleading information via mailer to the entire community regarding the sale, and also seems to have collaborated with Appleseed and the nurse’s union to try to undermine the sale.

Meanwhile, the Hospital Board did their best to identify a bidder that met all the criteria that had been established. One that would eliminate the $52 million bond hanging over our heads and would guarantee that the hospital would remain open as a full service facility. Thankfully, they were eventually successful despite the efforts of those who tried to stop it.

Russo, Mason, Occhipinti, and Castellano do not deserve any thanks for their obstructionism, their pettiness, and their politically motivated sabotage. They clearly do not have the interests of the whole community in mind while making decisions that impact us all. If they cannot put the community first when the community needs them most, can we ever trust them to do what is right for Hoboken and the tax payers?

No, no we cannot.

Special City Council meeting on Parking Agreement related to HUMC

The first reading of the parking agreement for the hospital under the buyer Holdco was voted on Saturday morning and it passed 5-1.  Corporation Counsel described the agreement as primarily a "continuation" for the anticipated change when the sale of the hospital is completed.

One member from the public spoke, John Keim who thought it would be a good idea to have a discussion on first reading (there is isn't any) and attempted to give public time to Tim Occhipinti.  Council President Ravi Bhalla explained there is no discussion on first reading and the rules do not allow the public (or political operatives) to give time to the Council and change the rules.

The Keims are known for their political operative work on behalf of Beth Mason and Ines Keim worked on the Tim Occhipinti campaign where multiple criminal referrals were sent to by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office to the State Attorney General's office.  There's no official conclusion to that review at this time.

Beth Mason has used the Keim home address for wheeling activities in earlier elections sending $30,000 or more to the campaign of Tim Occhipinti.  The individual maximum is $2,600.

Tim Occhipinti upheld the "Council of No" by voting you guessed it no
on a continuation of the parking agreement for the hospital.

Of the destructive Beth Russo forces against saving the hospital via bond earlier, only Tim Occhipinti showed up.  He makes some out of order noises as he's apparently learned nothing about the council rules and showing decorum with a minimum of respect to the institution.  Nothing new there, fits right in with how he had the seat "purchased" for him in November of last year.

Beer Tasting benefit for abused and neglected children today

From the desk of 5th ward Councilman Peter Cunningham:

Friends Family and Neighbors,
I hope this note find you all doing well.  As I have said many time before, there are many worthy causes in Hoboken, Hudson County and the greater New York metropolitan area to support.  And now more than ever, one of our most respected non profits in our area -  Hudson County CASA, is in need of your support. 
For the great work they do to protect the interest of abused and neglected children in the County, the Turtle Club at 10th and Park will host a beer tasting event from 2:00 to 5:00 pm for CASA.  They will have a wide array of craft beers, great college games at a very reasonable price of $30 per ticket. 
Please consider making a donation to Hudson County CASA and joining us for great refreshments at the Turtle Club. 
The following link provides additional details.
Thanks for the consideration and let me know if you have any additional questions. 

Peter Cunningham