Friday, December 2, 2011

Acting Governor Kim Guadagno joins HUMC ribbon-cutting celebration of renewal

The sense of deja vu was present in an event seemingly long in coming; HUMC celebrated its successful transition under Bayonne HUMC with a host of local, county and state officials on hand to share in the success.

On hand not just new owners and CEO Phil Scheangold but the Acting Governor Kim Guadagno who expressed her great pleasure at being at the important event and stood in on behalf of the State and Governor Chris Christie who is traveling.

The Lt. Governor noted among the day's important events in New Jersey, Gov. Christie would have wished to attend as did Hoboken Municipal Authority Chair Toni Tomarazzo.

Happy Day: Former Mayor Dave Roberts basks in the moment with NJ Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Mayor Dawn Zimmer before the event.
 
Mayor Dawn Zimmer urged several times for the community to continue its support both in Hoboken and Hudson County and bring about a successful transition under the new private owners.

Also in attendance: former Mayor David Roberts, State Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd, Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano, Council President Ravi Bhalla and council members Carol Marsh, Jen Giattino and Theresa Castellano.

The day almost never came as many observers well know and it was David Roberts stealing the show with some honest, slightly veiled remarks thanking the mayor for her efforts in saving the hospital and referencing the political opposition that came within a sliver of derailing it.  He did not name the City Council members who consistently opposed the legislation before them at various times, voting down each matter until it was almost too late.  (Mayor Roberts last September had earned the loudest ovation among official speakers at the 9-11 memorial service at Pier A.)

Although hospital authority Chairwoman Tomarazzo was not in attendance, many speakers noted her strong contribution into bringing the final result to the hospital, among them the honorary hospital board member speaking for the group, Steve Rafsky.

In an email later, Toni Tomarazzo expressed her strong desire to attend noting work requirements with the move of the event an hour earlier forced her to miss.  She wrote on the challenge, "It was a team effort.  The mayor exhibited tremendous leadership."

The revamped hospital is looking to launch a number of new initiatives previously announced by its new CEO and is currently in negotiations with a number of insurance carriers.  Previous existing contracts were one of the primary problems named in maintaining the hospital's solvency.  Blue Cross/Blue Shield is currently the only insurance carrier with in-network coverage.

Talking Ed Note: More pictures will be posted and the City is making the entire video of remarks available on Channel 78.  MSV has requested they also be made available online and will look to post them unedited as usual.

Okay now on to some observations.  The event was crowded held in the emergency room with employees overflowing on the sides making it mostly a media event.  The star of the show was clearly the Lt. Governor.  Her entrance made it an official festive occasion.

No speaker made reference to MORTe or thanked them for "saving the hospital."  Neither Michael Russo nor Beth Mason attended.  Councilwoman Terry Castellano was the sole MORTe representative and not looking all too happy to be there.  In fact she looked pretty miserable through most of it, staying in the rear left of the room away from all the other officials.  She did not speak or greet any of them, barely working her way next to other council members at the front left as the event began.

Several times MSV noted she seemed quite pained especially on repeated remarks thanking Gov. Chris Christie and Mayor Zimmer.  Evidently, she was quite conscious of the significance and her role in opposition to it.

More interesting, the councilwoman doesn't look at the mayor when she is speaking.  She acted similarly at the January hospital board meeting when the mayor was also in attendance and spoke about the opportunity to save the hospital.

Nothing more needs to be said, that speaks for itself.  So did the actions of MORTe: beth Mason, tim Occhipinti, michael Russo and Terry Castellano throughout the sale process.