Saturday, October 29, 2011

Councilwoman Jen Giattino: The stakes are high tomorrow for the hospital and here is the truth

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Greetings from Jen Giattino for City Council
Please attend the Council Meeting tomorrow at 6pm. 

Email and call your councilperson and ask that they support making
Ordinance  Z-139 immediately effective.

Tomorrow night is our chance to close the transaction of the sale
of the Hospital. 

There has been much talk about the great deal HUMC OPCO,LLC
is getting.

The Facts
  • the cost for a monthly residential parking at the midtown garage
    is $185 a month
  • HUMC OPCO,LLC will have access to 400 transponders NOT SPOTS
    at the midtown garage for $45 a month for the first 3 years
  • HUMC OPCO,LLC will have access to 400 transponders NOT SPOTS
    at the midtown garage for $65 a month after that.
The real breakdown
  • Cost per hour of a monthly residential spot 26 cents
  • Cost per hour of a HUMC OPCO,LLC spot during the
    first 3 years  26 cents
  • Cost per hour of a HUMC OPCO,LLC spot after the first
    3 years  37 cents
If the Hospital no longer operates as a Hospital or healthcare facility
the rates of the transponders become whatever the current market rate
of a monthly parking is and all 400 transponders must be paid for.

Even if they only want 100 transponders they must pay for 400.

This is a great deal for the City of Hoboken and its' taxpayers. 
  • saves The Hospital and over 1000 jobs there
  • saves the taxpayers from another tax increase
  • saves city employees jobs.
Please attend the Council meeting. Please urge your council
person to VOTE YES!

Thank You,
Jen Giattino

Grist for the Mill: MORTe to Hospital & Hoboken: Go to Hell!

Anyone aware of the situation in town is cognizant of the fight between the forces to see through the hospital's sale and the enormous efforts made by so many people to achieve this objective - including the hospital employees themselves who have sacrificed greatly including financially to save the hospital versus the forces of sabotage, destruction and moral corruption, re: MORTe.

While MORTe: Mason-Occhipinti-Russo and Terry Castellano have voted down every opportunity to assist the sale of the hospital, they have shown strong resolve to do whatever they can to undo the hospital sale even when the matter was in fact over after the parking agreement licensing was approved Tuesday night.

A commercial for Tim Occhipinti seen here with Assemblyman Ruben Ramos spoke about his "personal integrity."  You see any integrity?  He's in hiding not taking calls.
His phone is already filled with voicemail but you can text him at  (917) 721-3826.

MSV is picking up word of MORTe's continued resistance.  Terry Castellano does not plan on attending the meeting and will be at a wedding.  The same is being said of Mike Russo who is making it clear leading into the meeting he could care less.  If there was no wedding to attend, he is bragging he'd find something else to do.

It's not clear if either of the Russo's will make themselves available by phone to actually vote.  They both will have that ability to do so if they choose.  Making themselves unavailable is the same as a no vote.

So that leaves Beth Mason and Tim Occhipinti as the other two members of MORTe.  Will Mason show up if her Russo allies are not present?  It's not know that she will.

One source close to some of the Old Guard's inner circle told MSV that MORTe has no intention of moving now adding they don't feel the hospital will in fact close.  It's difficult to say if this is also part of the propaganda they've been pumping out to anyone who will listen.

The bottom line: MORTe takes no responsibility for the hospital's situation and THEY WON'T LIFT A FINGER TO AID THE HOSPITAL.
Beth Mason won't want to hear from you but you can also reach her mobile at (201) 916-8244.

Beth Mason was reported in a Hoboken Patch article by reporter Amanda Staub saying she is not standing in the way of the sale of the hospital.  That's another way of saying she will not lift a finger to say yes and allow the parking agreement she voted against to take effect immediately.

Mike Russo in the same article is quoted as saying, "I need to make sure I am looking out for the long term, as well as the short term." He then adds a canard about Holdco holding parking rights for 99 years.  The truth is laid out in the article that Holdco would only hold a licensing agreement for 400 spaces and would have to pay the full market rate whatever that price is at the time after seven years if the hospital's status would change.

Russo of course knows all this.

MORTe is now in full out passive aggressive destroy Hoboken mode.  They aren't even interested in gathering around the patient to watch it die.  At least some prefer to live it up and party down instead.

On Sunday we'll see what they in fact do.

MORTE's revenge is at hand and it's Ma Russo getting back for having free health benefits removed for her and her husband ex-mayor and convict Anthony Russo.  Here's she's seen huddling with MORTE's political operative Lane Bajardi at a City Council meeting last year.  Sunday Hoboken will likely witness MORTE's most deadly political sabotage against the hospital and Hoboken.

Talking Ed Note: MORTe has a strategy and is following through on it.  They have to destroy Hoboken in order to save it (for their own personal gain).

Since Ma "five-bucks-a-tow" Russo can't seem to land a government job with taxpayer paid benefits, she's decided Hoboken will pay.  Michele Russo and her husband were removed from their illicit receipt of Hoboken taxpayer paid health benefits last March after a City Hall audit discovered the oddity last December.

Some are already calling the latest MORTe sabotage of Hoboken Ma Russo's Revenge.

Update: 1:45 pm - Rumors of a rally before the City Council meeting are going around.  One says hospital employees may be leading one and another says it may involve Hoboken residents with some city workers.

Council VP Cunningham: Make your feelings known on saving the hospital & with it Hoboken

From the desk of 5th ward Councilman Peter Cunningham:

Friends, Family and Neighbors,

And yes again, we are at a very critical juncture in Hoboken's
history. Tomorrow night at 6pm, City Council Chambers, the minority
council will have another opportunity (and perhaps last) to favor the
immediate approval of the necessary parking agreement so the new
entity can USE the mid town garage for it's employees and patients.
It is the final piece to close the hospital financing to save
Hoboken's hospital and relieve the City of it's $52 million bond
guarantee. It is a condition to close the transaction which should
have happened Wednesday, but the minority council of Mason, Russo,
Castellano and Occipiniti voted no!

As many of you know, the process for the City to divest itself of
Hoboken Univ Medical Center has been on going since the Mayor
appointed (and the Council confirmed) a series of highly qualified
individuals tasked with this goal in mind - sell the hospital under
our conditions (set forth in the Request for Proposal) that would keep
this valuable and historic healthcare entity to serve Hoboken and the
Hudson County region, AND relieve the City and it's taxpayers from the
$52 million bond guarantee.

This action tomorrow night is our last chance to save our hospital and
relieve us of the guarantee that surely will be exercised if we cannot
close this transaction. Please attend this meeting and/or write your
councilperson/s to demand that they support this measure. It is our
last hope.

The following piece was provided by one of the Board members, which
provides a bit of history and understanding on this very important

Please circulate as well. Thanks, Peter

The Case for Selling the Hospital

On October 7th a federal bankruptcy judge in Newark approved both the
settlement agreement between all interested parties, and the sale of the

On October 21st, New Jersey's Commissioner of Health and Senior Services
issued a Certificate of Need for the transaction, the final necessary
regulatory approval to transfer ownership of the Hospital.

The transaction's path to closing has been undermined by the City Council
minority, where four members have ignored a public policy imperative to get
the sale done, and turned the process into a political confrontation focused
simply on undermining the Mayor - even if it triggers a the fiscal calamity,
that is, an immediate call on the $52 million in City guaranteed bonds.

The City took over the failing Saint Mary Hospital in 2007 using a
convoluted governance/ management structure that in large part has led to
the current problem. Councilman Russo voted for the City takeover, which was
meant to be a short term bridging plan.

A few weeks ago Council members Russo and Mason orchestrated a plan to
defeat a self-funding $5 million bond ordinance which was part of the
Mayor's exit strategy to privatize the hospital and assure its

Last week the same Council members blocked immediate implementation of an
ordinance allowing the buyer to lease parking transponders, so the new
hospital owners could continue to using the parking garage. Now, the sale
cannot be closed until the twenty day clock expires.

As a for-profit entity the Hospital will pay property taxes of well over
$500,000 per year!

With the recent public disclosure of three other bids it is important to
note that the mythology that Council members Mason and Russo planted about
the viability of other offers was just political shenanigans. It was easy
for the other bidders to "reinvent" their bids after the selected buyers
proposal was posted on the Authority and City web-sites. But they were still
deficient proposals.

Nonetheless we are right on the finish line. Governor Christie provided $5
million to add to the amount to be distributed to creditors, additional
payments were made by the buyer, and numerous other small steps were
identified to fill in the funding gap.

In 2007 after Bon Secours signaled its intention to walk-away from Saint
Mary Hospital in Hoboken, and a merger strategy failed to identify a
partner, the City of Hoboken, enabled by special state legislation,
established the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority which became the owner
and governing Board of the hospital. As part of the change of ownership the
City guaranteed $52 million in bonds to be used for capital projects. The
hospital was renamed Hoboken University Medical Center. (H.U.M.C.)

When the '07 Audited Financial Statement was finally issued in September '09
it showed a $23 million loss, followed by a $10 million loss in '08, both
bottom lines further adversely exacerbated by significant increases in
accounts payable. The hospital was in a "zone of insolvency."

Mayor Zimmer recognized the challenges facing H.U.M.C. and took immediate
action beginning in November 2009 when elected Mayor of Hoboken and became a
Commissioner on the Authority.

Immediate actions were taken to stabilize the hospital including:

-       New Commissioners were nominated including a former New Jersey
health system CEO, a regulatory/ compliance attorney, a municipal bond
underwriter, a bond insurance executive with extensive restructuring
experience, and a health care company in-house counsel - all residents of

-       Where previously there had been only a Finance Committee (which did
not publish minutes), and a Quality Committee with only one outside Board
member on it (chaired by an ex-officio physician member), two new committees
were immediately establish - Audit and Compliance, and Strategic Planning.

-       Playing catch-up to industry "best practices" an operations/
financial performance/ quality dashboard was put in place.

-       Having missed the opportunity in '09, an application was made for
Health Care Stabilization funding and the State awarded the hospital $7
million in 2010.

Then Mayor/ Commissioner Zimmer established the following goals for the

-       Ensuring that H.U.M.C. remains open as a full service, acute Care
hospital providing access to quality medical care for all Hoboken residents
and neighboring communities

-       Maintaining the almost 1200 jobs of our valued hospital staff

-       Respecting the commitment of the Hospital's medical staff to the
Hospital over the recent challenging years.

-       Addressing the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services
regionalization objectives of reducing excess capacity and Hudson County
hospitals' reliance on extraordinary State financial subsidies

-       Relieving the City of Hoboken from the financial obligation of the
bond guarantee while,

-       Achieving Hospital sustainability by "privatization," that is
finding a new owner with access to capital so the Hospital is able to
consider new program development, acquire advanced technology, and maintain
the facility.

Next, the Hospital Authority chose a financial advisor and special counsel,
an RFP Process was established and implemented, proposals were evaluated,
and a "buyer" was selected by a unanimous vote of the Authority.

Mayor Zimmer established a close working relationship with the Governor's
Office, the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, the NJHCFFA, and

Despite overwhelming legacy issues we are on the cusp of guarantying that
H.U.M.C. remains an acute care hospital  for all residents of Hoboken, those
who work in Hoboken's bustling business community, the thousands of
commuters who pass through Hoboken every day, the residents of neighboring
communities, and maintains its critical role in emergency preparedness.

"Re-Privatizing" the Hospital will bring it stability, access to capital,
and the ability to compete in the hospital marketplace without dependency on
state subsidies and cash advances. It will also relieve the City of the bond
guarantee, freeing up bond capacity for other necessary and immediate
infrastructure improvements.

This Essential Safety-Net Hospital management transformation initiative -
hospital sustainability through privatization - will be a "self-sufficiency"
model for replication elsewhere in New Jersey.

Under the Mayor's leadership H.U.M.C.'s finances were stabilized,
sustainability goals were established, an RFP process for the sale was
managed, an Asset Purchase Agreement was negotiated with the buyer, and the
transaction was successfully moved through bankruptcy proceedings and the
Certificate of Need process.

Although the Hospital is a "third-rail" of Hoboken politics Mayor Zimmer had
the courage to tell Hobokenites that the Hospital is on the verge of closure
unless this sale is consummated immediately.

The choice is simple. Support the Mayor's actions to navigate around the
Council minority's obstructionist tactics.

Or Hoboken will no longer have an acute care hospital but a financial
meltdown instead.

Peter Cunningham