Friday, October 28, 2011

Mayor Zimmer: Hospital and City on critical list leading into Sunday City Council vote

Mayor Dawn Zimmer expressed to all members of Hoboken's community the necessity to impress on the minority City Council members the need to cooperate on a Sunday vote to make immediate the parking agreement passed on Tuesday so the hospital sale can close.

Councilman Mike Russo expressed his belief such a vote was not necessary in a conversation with the City's Corporation Counsel.  The next day Hoboken learned the sale had not closed as the Corporation Counsel stated.

The hospital is currently running on fumes and has taken extraordinary steps to make its payroll but can not make it 20 days from Wednesday when the parking agreement's passage becomes effective.  As a result, a special City Council meeting will be held on Sunday night at 6:00 pm.

The City Council will again be asked to make the parking agreement effective so the hospital can close this Tuesday and save the hospital and the "financial interests of the City of Hoboken," the mayor emphasized.

Adding the City would be responsible within 60 days to come up with $63 million on the original bond guarantee and the mayor said in stark terms the credit rating of Hoboken "would be destroyed."

City council members have said they oppose the parking agreement and can not support its terms.  The consequences of further obstruction far exceed their stated concerns and the mayor indicated the City may be forced to declare bankruptcy.

The mayor asked the hospital and City employees along with concerned residents of Hoboken to express their support to vote and see the hospital sale completed.

The mayor added the Council members have "an obligation to support the City of Hoboken" and indicated she would be reaching out each of the four members who have not permitted the parking agreement to become effective and allow the completion of the hospital sale.

The mayor left the hospital for a meeting with City employees back at City Hall to inform them massive layoffs are in the works should the City Council force the hospital to close by rejecting the immediate viability of the parking agreement by next week.

Talking Ed Note: Unlike the earlier press conferences, the employees were quite animated.  This unexpected "news" was not to their liking.

At the eight minute mark the mayor asks the HMHA Chairwoman Toni Tomarazzo to say a few words.  The crowd makes their feelings known loud and clear.

The original top line emergency resolution is all that stands of the original three on the Sunday agenda.  The mayor stated the other two resolutions did not meet an independent evaluation by the bond counsel and were being removed.

With one vote on the one matter requiring action on Sunday, once again the City Council is asked to do the right thing for Hoboken.  In each of the several related votes on the hospital presented, Mike Russo, Terry Castellano, Tim Occhipinti and Beth Mason voted no.

Mayor Zimmer Press Conference on saving HUMC

The mayor held a press conference earlier today saying although time is running out and the hospital missed the opportunity to conclude being saved in a sale Wednesday, Hoboken still has a chance if four members of the City Council will "do the right thing for all of Hoboken," and pass the emergency resolution on the final component needed for the hospital - the parking agreement.

In front of an emotional audience of hospital employees and Hoboken residents, chants of "Save Our Hospital" interrupted the mayor and the Hospital Authority members who spoke with strong applause.  The mayor urged everyone with the welfare of Hoboken in mind to reach out to the four council minority members - Michael Russo, Beth Mason, Terry Castellano and Tim Occhipinti and tell them they can be "heroes of Hoboken" if they vote to allow the sale to go forward by making the already passed parking agreement immediately effective.

There's no hiding on this one this time for Mike Russo.  It's prosperity or destruction, yay or nay.

The mayor made it very clear much is in the balance including the City of Hoboken being declared bankrupt.  According to the mayor,  the City would be facing a $63 million dollar bill if the hospital closed on a $100 million annual budget and the impact to the City of Hoboken would be catastrophic.

The mayor was scheduled to leave the hospital to inform City employees the dire situation both the hospital and the City faced. The mayor added massive layoffs would be in store for Hoboken if the hospital sale that was already completed less the parking agreement is not wrapped up with at least one more yes vote on Sunday.  Large tax increases would also be required due to the enormity of the impact.

Later in an interview one nurse noted no hospital in Hoboken can possibly operate successfully without parking. The parking garage was created for the hospital and is an essential piece to the closing of the sale.

Should one of the four council minority members vote yes, the closing would be able to conclude Tuesday of next week.

The consequences for intransigence are extremely dire to the hospital, almost 1200 employees, City workers including public safety and the taxpayers of Hoboken.

In 2007, Council members Terry Castellano and Mike Russo both voted to keep the hospital by making Hoboken taxpayers the guarantors of a $52 million bond. They have both voted against every single hospital related legislation that has come before them in recent weeks that would defease the bond and keep the hospital contractually open for seven years.

Complete and unedited video will be posted later today.

- Posted at full gallop

HUMC Press Conference - Council vote critical in hospital survival

The press conference today is running late unlike the previous two. Not altogether surprising considering the people that have been working from midnight Tuesday after the City Council's action by MORTe to stop the essential parking agreement licensing from taking effect with the closing Wednesday.

The hospital employees are now assembling in the lobby. There's a sense of deja vu but not the good kind. This was not suppose to happen.

Thank you Beth Mason for hating Hoboken.

- Posted at full gallop

Hoboken and HUMC with back to the wall, one resident says call MORTe

One concerned resident sent in this information requesting it be posted announcing:

The Council Minority (Mason, Russo, Castellano and Occhipinti) are set to bankrupt Hoboken.

Your taxes may triple because of their political grandstanding.

Call Beth Mason at 646-339-2991 today to tell her to vote "Yes" on Sunday. If that box is full, call 201-656-7549

Call Tim Occhipinti at 917-721-3926 today to tell him to vote "Yes" on Sunday

Michael Russo is at 201-401-9687

Theresa Castellano is at - (201) 656-9449

We also need you to show up on Sunday at 6:00PM at City Hall to urge them to Vote "YES" on the Hospital Parking Agreement.

Please go to the mic and make a statement that they are destroying Hoboken and to stop.

Make it clear you are ready to hold them personally responsible for the damage.

- Posted at full gallop