Assemblyman Ramos on HUMC Debacle

Ramos: Zimmer looking for scapegoat for her incompetence

NJ Assemblyman Ruben Ramos has this to say about the recent HUMC Hospital sale debacle:

“Last night, Mayor Zimmer placed the 9 members of the City Council in a very difficult position, one that they shouldn’t have been in to begin with. Zimmer’s effort to secure an additional $5 million from the City Council was a miserable attempt at using the nine City Council members as a scapegoat for her own administration’s failure.

I particularly commend Councilpersons Mason, Russo, Castellano, and Occhipinti for their courageous vote last night. By voting against the Administration’s efforts to extort more money from the Hoboken taxpayers to further fund the Mayor’s incompetent and flawed attempt sell HUMC, the Council minority made clear that it is unwilling to be a party to backroom dealings conducted without the benefit of meaningful public input.

Let’s not forget that Mayor Zimmer is a member of the Municipal Hospital Authority Board. She also appoints all the members to the board, as well as the Chief Operating Officer. Zimmer has also repeatedly stated that the Council has no role in the sale of hospital – that was until she needed $5 million of taxpayer money to bail her out of a deal that she and the buyers were completely inept at completing.

The current situation facing the hospital is solely the result of the incompetence and arrogance of Mayor Zimmer and her allies on the Municipal Hospital Authority’s Board, who now seek to scapegoat the Council in a pathetic attempt to hide their incompetence. It is the Mayor who has placed in doubt the future of the oldest hospital in the State and the jobs of 1,300 hardworking and dedicated employees, and who has jeopardized the City’s fiscal health. From the beginning, the Mayor and the Authority’s efforts to transfer the hospital to HoldCo have lacked transparency, with even the City Council being denied access to relevant details and documents despite repeated requests for this information.

The taxpayers and residents of Hoboken are owed a full investigation into the decision to sell the hospital, the RFP process, the decision to negotiate exclusively with only 1 of several bidders, and the circumstances surrounding the bankruptcy filing.”

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27 Comments on "Assemblyman Ramos on HUMC Debacle"

HearditallB4
Member
HearditallB4
It is pretty much a given when a politician endorses another’s re-election bid they get more money. No problem there, but even some of Ms. Zimmer’s supporters are admitting some of the actions of the HHA committee are arousing suspicion? Why this particular buyer and why so many concessions when there are other bids out there, namely JC Medical Center, P3 etc. These bidders have made it abundantly clear that they are still interested. I know a committee was chosen to pick the best deal, but as of yet they are not telling us why. This attitude of just accept our decision in blind faith attitude has even her staunchest allies questioning her. Is there a tax abatement in existence presently? Is it legal/ethical to lift the moratorium on tax abatements for a not-for-profit organization? Also how can PSE&G allow a bill to accumulate to 5mm dollars? If a property owner doesn’t pay their bill the next bill indicates discontinuance of service. Same for other vendors. Why continue services? Don’t get me wrong the vendors are certainly due their money, but it appears very suspicious on HUMC’s part that the possibility of bankruptcy was evident. Holdco had their audit team in there for quite some time, they even asked for an extension to audit the books, so why are they screaming get the bankruptcy issue settled or we walk? Just walk already, they shouldn’t even consider this acquisition anymore, this is Mrs. Zimmer’s last attempt at rectifying a problem Holdco… Read more »
sasha
Member
sasha

Ruben Ramos: Please run for mayor: In my opinion and that of many Hobokenites,
you would be a great mayor!

mookie
Member
mookie

and now this –

“HOBOKEN — Financial pressure could tighten around Hoboken University Medical Center if Moody’s Investors Service lowers the bond rating for $9 million of the hospital’s debt.

The credit rating agency announced last week that it was reviewing the hospital’s finances and considering a downgrade of its middle-of-the-road Baa1 rating.

A downgrade would add to the embattled hospital’s problems. Wednesday night, the city failed to secure a bankruptcy settlement deal with the hospital’s creditors, throwing into uncertainty a separate deal to sell the hospital to a for-profit company.

Moody’s said Hoboken’s finances would suffer if the city loses its case against creditors in bankruptcy court, and it also pointed to other unresolved matters between the city and the company running the hospital, Hudson Healthcare.

“Hudson Healthcare is now seeking approximately $33 million from the (city) of accrued expenses and other liabilities,” Moody’s said in its announcement. “The (city) disputes its liability for the Hudson Healthcare claims, which the (city) asserts were incurred in violation of the management agreement.”

Hudson Healthcare has warned in court filings that if the bankruptcy settlement is not approved and the sale to the private investors falls apart, the hospital would close sometime in October. The hospital employs 1,300 people.

Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority officials could not immediately be reached for comment today”

Next they will downgrade the City too.

screen name
Member
screen name
This is news. I thought the purpose of the sale was to shed the 52 million, not assume 33 million in new liabilities. That said the city needs to get rid of this hospital as quickly as possible. [quote comment=”210923″]and now this -“HOBOKEN — Financial pressure could tighten around Hoboken University Medical Center if Moody’s Investors Service lowers the bond rating for $9 million of the hospital’s debt.The credit rating agency announced last week that it was reviewing the hospital’s finances and considering a downgrade of its middle-of-the-road Baa1 rating.A downgrade would add to the embattled hospital’s problems. Wednesday night, the city failed to secure a bankruptcy settlement deal with the hospital’s creditors, throwing into uncertainty a separate deal to sell the hospital to a for-profit company.Moody’s said Hoboken’s finances would suffer if the city loses its case against creditors in bankruptcy court, and it also pointed to other unresolved matters between the city and the company running the hospital, Hudson Healthcare.“Hudson Healthcare is now seeking approximately $33 million from the (city) of accrued expenses and other liabilities,” Moody’s said in its announcement. “The (city) disputes its liability for the Hudson Healthcare claims, which the (city) asserts were incurred in violation of the management agreement.”Hudson Healthcare has warned in court filings that if the bankruptcy settlement is not approved and the sale to the private investors falls apart, the hospital would close sometime in October. The hospital employs 1,300 people.Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority officials could not immediately be reached for… Read more »
HearditallB4
Member
HearditallB4

IA! Everyone voted in good faith to float the bond issue to keep the hospital open. They did this in good faith expecting a fiscal report of their bonding issue. Beth Mason repeatedly wanted disclosure statements to report to the constituents what was truly going on, none of them complied, they called this hospital a Financial Miracle, so if it was a financial miracle just when did it become financial debacle. When her unprofessional cronies took the reigns and hid their dealings in secrecy. So Gov. Christie bailed her out of the bond issue, so now what if the creditors refuse this? Do they have the right, sure they do, so instead of her pitching her tale of woe, why didn’t she comply with the council’s request? Why issue a preliminary statement that hospital will definitely close if creditors don’t accept the deal? Trouble right here in River City, potential scandal, etc. For once the residents were too damned smart to buy into her scare tactics. I say good job to the minority council members, keep fighting the good fight.

hobokenj
Member
hobokenj

I really wish the council minority would begin the process to remove her from office before she bankrupts this city in lawsuits. She will more than likely wind up in jail at some point in the future, but until then she has to much power to destroy everything she touches.

the cost of a recall should certainly outweigh the damage she is causing in so many other areas.

whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob
I hear ya hobokenj, but at this point in time (2 years into her term) it wouldn’t be worth the time and effort. It’s a very long process, and if it were to start tomorrow, would probably carry on to her last days in office. She’s fooled people for too long. What the minority IS doing, is stopping her at every chance and way they get. They’ve already accomplished a petition drive to stop her and the majority council from extending their terms by 7 months by resolution, and it will now go to the voters to decide. This wasn’t a selfish measure on the minority side, as it also didn’t extend their OWN terms either. The entire council meeting last night was zimmers latest attempt to make the minority council look foolish by not bonding to save the hospital. But this also backfired, as the State of NJ by direction of Gov Christie will pick up the tab. Mason, Russo, Castellano and Occhipinti actually saved residents from picking up the tab by voting NO on the isssue. Now the entire state picks up the tab for zimmers craziness, and greatly reduces cost to local taxpayers. Ya wonder why she was on the other side of the river with Christie for 9/11 ceremonies kissing his ring (which he keeps in his back pocket) and not here in her own town for ours? Did Christie’s thirteenth hour decision make this clear? Seems very staged to me.[quote comment=”210927″]I really wish the council… Read more »
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