HUMC Bonds

6/2/2008 Update:

Meeting Tonight

hoboken-university-medical-center-construction-humc.JPG

The Hoboken City Council meets again tonight to hear from the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority about its request to change a porting of the $52 million in bonds guaranteed by the city. The HMHA — which hired Harvey Holzberg of Hudson Healthcare to run the Hoboken University Medical Center — has run out of reserve funds and needs to replenish by taking money earmarked in the bonds for capital projects and using to cover a revenue shortfall. In order to do that the bonds need to be restructured from tax-free to taxable.

The council is not looking for a dog and pony show about how Holzberg “Saved Saint Mary”. What they do want are answers to tough questions about the finances at HUMC, which appear to be following the track of detractors who criticized the structure of Mayor David Roberts “Miracle” plan to take over the money-losing medical facility.

The meeting starts at 7pm at City Hall. Read more about it after the jump, as well as here: (Mason vs. Roberts on HUMC)

5/14/2008 PM Update:

State Meeting Postponed

The rush job to get state approval for Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority bonding hit a big snag today. We first told you about these bonds last week, even though nobody from the HMHA or the Roberts administration mentioned them during the long debate about shining sunlight on the hospital’s taxpayer-guaranteed finances. Local Finance Board Chairperson Susan Jaccobucci responded to the letter from Councilwoman Beth Mason saying in part:

“We appreciate you brining the matter to our attention. Because the matter is scheduled for a hearing, it is up to the applicant to ask for it to be withdrawn. The applicant has asked us to postpone the hearing until next month… Please be advised that we have shared the issues you raised with the Authority’s Bond Counsel.”

So, no decision today on the new borrowing for operating expenses at the former St. Mary Hospital. Read more below.

5/14/2008 9am Update:

The Hospital Bond Plot thickens!

The Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority story keeps getting bigger. First Mayor Roberts’ attempt to “demand” Councilwoman Beth Mason drop her lawsuit to open the books at the former St. Mary Hospital backfired when the public turned on him and he could only get two council votes to support it. Then an eagle-eyed Hoboken411 reader found this mysterious legal notice from the HMHA about issuing more bonds. Now we learn that this was all part of an apparent Roberts plan to get some more back-door borrowing schemes through without the public noticing until it was too late. Sorry Dave. We noticed. We’re watching. Closely.

State Meeting on New Bonding TODAY

hoboken-mason-letter-may-13-2008-sm.gifThis morning in Trenton the state Local Finance Board will be asked to approve a bond sale from the Hospital Authority. This bond sale was not approved by the City Council. It’s a move most members of the Council are only now finding out about. This even though the last council voted to support the current round of $52 million in bonds guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the City of Hoboken. Councilwoman Mason has written to the state Attorney General and Department of Community Affairs to prevent the LFB from approving this latest round of unapproved borrowing.

Mason Looks To Block Bond Sale

In her letter Mason says that the $12 million bond issue was never discussed or approved by the city council – even though city taxpayers are liable for the bonds if the Authority defaults. Her position is the council should have been told about the bond sale and that state law requires a resolution of the city council before such a bond sale can take place. The second ward representative says neither she nor five other members of the city council she spoke with have been informed of the bond sale.

Mason requested that the Attorney General’s office stop the bond sale hearing and “immediately commence a full and comprehensive review into this matter in the hope of insuring that all applicable laws, rules and regulations are complied with both literally and in spirit.”

More Secret Financial Deals?

After all that talk at the City Council meeting last week about the Hospital Authority and it’s finances, not once did Mayor Roberts or HMHA Executive Director George Crimmins mention the proposed sale of new bonds. Did Councilmembers-at-Large Ruben Ramos and Terry LaBruno even know this was coming?

After all, they were the ones who signed their names to Roberts’ “Silence Beth Mason” bill, which one member of the public said was an “Ostrich Resolution” for the way it chose to bury the heads of the council in the sand. The Hospital Authority refuses to detail its financial progress to the City Council. They are left to see the same slick ads and fliers that the rest of us see.

Wait, I thought this was a “Miracle?”

humc-hoboken-construction-sm.jpgIn the HMHA’s application to the Local Finance Board, the hospital claims it needs to refinance $12 million to pay for current expenses, among other things. This while $800k a year hospital Chief Executive Officer Harvey Holzberg claims the hospital is financially secure and has undergone a “miraculous recovery.”

Mason says, “The so-called miracle at the HUMC appears to be questionable given that the city council has never seen evidence of this miraculous recovery and that the hospital now apparently needs an infusion of cash.” She added, “The fact that the hospital needs to borrow money to pay its current expenses is a bad sign.”

“Like paying your rent with your Visa card”

The councilwoman said the refinancing will likely put taxpayers further in debt and closer to financial catastrophe. Others say the $12 million will likely be used to subsidize the money-losing hospital to help keep it open passed the 2009 Mayoral election. Critics have been saying Roberts and the HMHA have only succeeded in throwing money at the hospital to keep it open a little longer, noting the Mayor testified to the LFB back in 2006 that if the hospital failed the city would have the ability to up-zone the hospital for development that would make the property valuable enough to get back some of the city’s investment.

What will the word be from the LFB? Stay tuned to find out!

5/9/2008:

More secret shuffling going on at HUMC?

From a Hoboken411 reader:

“Below is a copy of the public notice that Hoboken City Hall published, noting that the HUMC is issuing bonds. Amazingly enough no mention of how much they’ll be floating, perhaps a couple of billion dollars so they can bail out Bear Sterns & save all the Hoboken Banker jobs that support our little economy? On a serious note, this is more than likely some type of shell game that the mayor is playing to move money back & forth between city hall & the hospital to try & balance his bloated budget. This is fuel for the fire that Councilwoman Mason is on the right track & that something is a rotten in Denmark.”

Public Notice

hoboken-humc-bonds.jpgNOTICE OF ADOPTION OF A RESOLUTION OF THE HOBOKEN MUNICIPAL HOSPITAL AUTHORITY AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS, NOTES OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS OF THE AUTHORITY TO REFUND BONDS OF THE AUTHORITY AND FINANCE CERTAIN COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE OPERATION OF HOBOKEN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER AND FURTHER AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF A SUPPLEMENTAL INDENTURE TO SECURE SAME

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a resolution entitled “RESOLUTION OF THE HOBOKEN MUNICIPAL HOSPITAL AUTHORITY AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS, NOTES OR OTHER OBLlGATIONS OF THE AUTHORITY TO REFUND BONDS OF THE AUTHORITY AND FINANCE CERTAIN COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE OPERATION OF HOBOKEN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER AND FURTHER AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF A SUPPLEMENTAL INDENTURE TO SECURE SAME” (the “Bond Resolution”) has been finally adopted by the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority (the “Authority”) on April 30, 2008. Notice is further given that a copy of said Bond Resolution has been filed for public inspection at the offices of the Authority at the Hoboken University Medical Center, 312 Clinton Street, Hoboken, New Jersey, and at the office of the City Clerk of the City of Hoboken at City Hall, 94 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:14B-28 (incorporated by reference by N.J.S.A. 30:9-23.21). Notice is hereby given that the twenty (20) day period of limitation has begun to run during which time actions or proceedings questioning the validity or proper authorization of the bonds, notes or other obligations provided for by said Bond Resolution, or the validity of any covenants, agreements or contracts provided for by said Bond Resolution, shall be commenced or instituted. After such twenty day period has run, all the residents and taxpayers and owners of property in the district of said Authority and users of the Authority’s facilities and all other persons whatsoever shall be forever barred and foreclosed from instituting or commencing any action or proceeding in any Court, or from pleading any defense to any action or proceedings, questioning the validity of the creation and establishment of the Authority, or the validity or proper authorization of such bonds, notes or other obligations, or the validity of any such covenants, agreements or contracts, and said Authority shall be conclusively deemed to have been validly created and established and to be authorized to transact business and exercise powers as a municipal authority under the Municipal Hospital Authority Law, and said bonds, notes or other obligations, covenants, agreements and contracts shall be conclusively deemed to be valid and binding obligations in accordance with their terms and tenor.

Published by Order of
HOBOKEN MUNICIPAL
HOSPITAL AUTHORITY
George W. Crimmins
Executive Director

96 Responses

  1. BarbaraR56 says:

    You don’t spend more than a fraction of your time in condescension? That truly is funny. I don’t spend a fraction of my time asking for free passes for felons either. You truly are threatened by someone you feel is not as intelligent as you are, don’t turn a blind eye to anything you feel the need to change, open your mind to suggestion and not ridicule. I hold down a full time job also, so a little less humiliation and a little more action is required. I am not asking for sympathy or an explanation of common business practices, I have many successful business people in my family who have explained the basics to me and did not ridicule my lack of understanding of the inner workings of the business practices. You need to be fine-tuned and I am truly sorry for the medical conditions you and your mother have. Humility, not humiliation works every time.

    If I had committed a felonious crime, I would expect to be punished, I don’t condone anyone who has committed a felony, but I am open minded enough to accept that once the crime is committed, the punishment served and the redemption be accepted. No I don’t know you or what you do to improve your world that is true, but you don’t have the right to criticize my beliefs either. Tact is sorely lacking in your posts, open both your eyes to the way you handle criticism and open your ears to the suggestions of others. You don’t have to like everyone’s individuality, that is your right, but do not ever think that you and you alone feel that things are radically wrong in this city, we all know it, we are trying to change it in our own way. As for what you do to improve your world, that is your business. You take things way too personally, change what you can, however you can and learn that other people have the right to disagree with you, state their opinion without the condescension you feel you need to convey your thoughts. 😛

  2. oceanbloo says:

    Barbara, jumping on Journey is completely absurd. She is one of the most thoughtful posters on the site, apologizes when she is out of line, and thoroughly does more research than city politicians do. You come out of nowhere and act high-and-mighty about people posting here – the purpose of a blog is to communicate. To assume that the people on this site do nothing but complain is foolish, as you have no clue what anyone else here is doing in the community.

    For myself, I just want someone honest running the show. I want the mayor to show up to an emergency meeting to speak to the budget that is way overdue and is going to cost me money that could have went into my child’s 529. I want the Board of Education members to have children in the schools they supposedly represent. I want any public figure to avoid ridiculous spelling and grammatical errors in their communications. I want Arezzo to stop screaming at people when they need permits and holding up their lives delaying when they can have the home they want. I want projects to be bid on, not just handed to friends. I want Hoboken to stay out of national news because our useless SWAT team (and potential mayoral candidate) went to a low class skanky restaurant and misbehaved. I could go on and on and on…I’m not asking for the world, I’m just asking for honest, professional behavior, and this website has done amazing things by exposing such utter incompetence and corruption.

  3. bri777 says:

    Webster’s Hoboken Dictionary (Feel Free To Add)

    Enemies – People who report you to the state for breaking the law. Ex. Councilperson Peter Cammarano said that the investigation being brought by the state of New Jersey in regard to his management of political committees was a result of accusations made by his enemies.

    Mistake – a crime or felony. Ex. Former Mayor Anthony Russo committed several mistakes in the eight years he was mayor of Hoboken.

    Profitable – in need of a multi-million cash infusion for operating expenses. Ex. Mayor Roberts was proud to announce that the Hoboken University Medical Center was now profitable.

    Technicality – completely ignoring the laws enacted by the state of New Jersey. Ex. Hoboken City Attorney Steve Kleinman was disappointed that the court overturned Mayor Roberts deal with Ursa/Tarragon on a technicality; the court having found the city had completely ignored the state’s legislative scheme when the city awarded the development of the NW district to the shady developer.

  4. Katie_Scarlett says:

    Reading barbara’s posts makes my head hurt. She misread nonconfrontational journey as condescending. I think redhaven and I have the condescending market cornered on this site, so methinks babs needs to layoff our resident legally blind breeder in progress. ;-p

    Also barbara-at no time in your incoherent ramblings did you come close to making sense. We are all dumber for having read your posts. Please get educated. Please!

  5. andynnj says:

    [quote comment=”86153″]Reading barbara’s posts makes my head hurt. She misread nonconfrontational journey as condescending. I think redhaven and I have the condescending market cornered on this site, so methinks babs needs to layoff our resident legally blind breeder in progress. ;-p

    Also barbara-at no time in your incoherent ramblings did you come close to making sense. We are all dumber for having read your posts. Please get educated. Please![/quote]

    Thank you KS!
    I wonder if Babs would be so forgiving and accepting of redemption if, say, someone committed a crime against one of her loved ones? I’ll bet she’d change her opinion pretty fast.

  6. sanity says:

    [quote comment=”86139″]You don’t have to like everyone’s individuality, that is your right, but do not ever think that you and you alone feel that things are radically wrong in this city, we all know it, we are trying to change it in our own way. As for what you do to improve your world, that is your business. You take things way too personally, change what you can, however you can and learn that other people have the right to disagree with you, state their opinion without the condescension you feel you need to convey your thoughts.[/quote]

    Now this is simply odd. Barbara, Journey merely points out problems in this town, and you take this as a personal insult? Why? Are you feeling personally responsible for the problems? Do you share commonality with those who caused the problems? Journey wasn’t the least bit condesending to you; she merely stated her opinion of the problem –a right YOU said everyone had.

    Again, Barbara, you keep giving all these platitudes of how everyone is trying to fix the problems in their own way, of how people understand issues, and of how real attempts have been made to fix the problem. Fine. We are listening. Educate us. How? Give us specifics of what fixes and of what attempts have been made. Give us the depth of your understanding.

    Don’t misinterpret this as condesention. I’m genuinely curious. What attempts have been made? The budget has far outgrown receipts for many years now. What attempts have been made to control spending? Receipts have nearly doubled in a short period of time, yet we run a structural deficit. Why? The schools have underperformed for the amount of money spent for many years now. What attempts have been made to increase performance and to control spending? Why is the per-pupil cost approaching the tuition at Andover? Why is there a proposal to refinance the HUMC bonds to a higher (tax exempts are usually lower than taxables) rate to pay O&M? Who refinances to higher rates? What is Hoboken’s underlying issuer rating? Why isn’t a budget adopted? Why are the financials late, especially during election years? Does Hoboken meet its 15(c)2-12 filing requirements? Why isn’t HUMC considered an “obligated person” in terms of the Rule on that revenue bond? Why are HUMC’s financials not disclosed? Why are you complaining about open space that is already included in the Hoboken Master Plan? Why is there a need to give this planned open space to developers who happen to hire city official’s relatives as exclusive agents? Why are city officials among the higest paid in the country?

  7. bri777 says:

    [quote comment=”86159″][quote comment=”86153″]Reading barbara’s posts makes my head hurt. She misread nonconfrontational journey as condescending. I think redhaven and I have the condescending market cornered on this site, so methinks babs needs to layoff our resident legally blind breeder in progress. ;-p

    Also barbara-at no time in your incoherent ramblings did you come close to making sense. We are all dumber for having read your posts. Please get educated. Please![/quote]

    Thank you KS!
    I wonder if Babs would be so forgiving and accepting of redemption if, say, someone committed a crime against one of her loved ones? I’ll bet she’d change her opinion pretty fast.[/quote]

    You mean a “mistake” against her loved ones.

  8. Journey says:

    BarbaraR56,

    I’m sorry you thought I was being condescending, that was never my intent.

    Côf a lithr, llythyrau a geidw.”
    Translation: “Memory slips, letters remain.”

  9. BarbaraR56 says:

    Take two aspirins for your headache and use your education by picking up your petitions to run for office yourself. Both the Executive Director of Finance of the hospital, the CEO as well as the Business Administrator have been taken to task to open the books. If you have cable, turn to Channel 78 and watch the meeting. Crimes were not only committed against my family, they were committed against his own as well as other families in Hoboken. As for calling me Babs, my sister calls me that, big deal. Journey was not the poster to which I was referring, she took my suggestion called the board of election posted the website address and lodged her complaints.

    Now take a sedative.

  10. Journey says:

    Barbara,

    I learned 26 years ago what you say on line has an awfully long half-life. To me and many other posters it looks like you were referring to me. I’ve rescanned the posts and still feel that way.

    Côf a lithr, llythyrau a geidw.”
    Translation: “Memory slips, letters remain.”

  11. MidnightRacer says:

    [quote comment=”86230″]Take two aspirins for your headache and use your education by picking up your petitions to run for office yourself.[/quote]

    1 Flag

    [quote comment=”86236″]Côf a lithr, llythyrau a geidw.[/quote]

    6 Flags

    More Flags! More Fun!

  12. BarbaraR56 says:

    Please turn on Channel 78 for the special meeting held on June 2, 2008 to explain facts, figures, delays, and deferment of payments for the hospital. At a later date and time turn the same channel on for the special budget meeting held for the city budgetary problems and attempts to fix that.

    Journey, I truly feel sorry that you are hurt, my intention was not to be hurtful. I will stick to the issues at hand.

  13. Journey says:

    Or for those that don’t have ch78, try http://www.hobokentv78.org/

    Right now they are formatted for Windows Media Player, if I get a good, easy method for converting them to my video iPod, I’ll let everyone know how.

    Now that the weather is getting nice there is no way I’m going to stay in and watch these things if I can find a way to take them with me.

  14. Journey says:

    [quote comment=”86257″]Please turn on Channel 78 for the special meeting held on June 2, 2008 to explain facts, figures, delays, and deferment of payments for the hospital. At a later date and time turn the same channel on for the special budget meeting held for the city budgetary problems and attempts to fix that.

    Journey, I truly feel sorry that you are hurt, my intention was not to be hurtful. I will stick to the issues at hand.[/quote]

    Don’t worry Barbara, I’m not hurt. I just call things as I see them.

    I’ve been reading Welsh proverbs and sayings, found one that suits the topic of corruption.

    “Diddrwg pob drwg heb gerydd” very loosely it means the failure to act in the face of evil is simply to condone evil.

  15. BarbaraR56 says:

    I call them as I see them also, I’m not worried that you are hurt, you are stating your point quite reasonably, with no insult or degradation toward my point of view. I have cast a vote for the person I feel will do the least evil, so therefore we are the same in theory. Please enjoy your Summer. 😛

  16. sanity says:

    [quote comment=”86257″]Please turn on Channel 78 for the special meeting held on June 2, 2008 to explain facts, figures, delays, and deferment of payments for the hospital. At a later date and time turn the same channel on for the special budget meeting held for the city budgetary problems and attempts to fix that.[/quote]

    Ah, so no real answers to any of the questions then? Please just see a video of a meeting where… did they actually adopt (let alone fix) the budget at the meeting? Did they fix salaries at the meeting? Did they reduce school spending (obviously they can’t but you’re pointing me to the city council meeting because…)? Did they address overdevelopment? Did they actually answer any of the questions I asked you? And the worst part about this “turn to channel 78″ response? This is the 2008 meeting at the end of the fiscal year where only some of the people finally recognized the problem. How long has this structural deficit lasted again? How long has the city’s spending managed to outgrow the city’s stellar growth in tax receipts?

    Barbara, and again, I’m not being condescending, but when you’re unable to back up any of your generalizations and your statements with any specifics, and when you answer a whole host of questions by saying “see the video” of a meeting that clearly doesn’t have the answers, you severely undercut the credibility of the points you were trying to make.

    What is Hoboken’s unenhanced issuer rating again?

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