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:

Ruben Ramos Letter to Editor Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer - Assemblyman Ramos on HUMC 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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HearditallB4
HearditallB4
Saturday, September 24, 2011 9:39 am

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
sasha
Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:08 pm

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

HearditallB4
HearditallB4
Thursday, September 22, 2011 5:16 pm

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.

hudsonhill
hudsonhill
Thursday, September 22, 2011 2:06 pm

Just read that the governor is putting up the $5 milliion to do the deal.

HearditallB4
HearditallB4
Thursday, September 22, 2011 1:39 pm

I am not going to bash wallstreeters in any way. ITA with what you have posted. The lack of transparency is evident that her shady backroom dealings will definitely cost the residents who chose to stay in Hoboken millions. Why won’t she allow the people that were deposed to give testimony? So I wholeheartedy agree with Assemblyman Ramos on his post. Yes, where there smoke there is fire, she better come up with a miracle in the 11th hour, LOL. Believe me I commend the 4 council minority votes for not giving in to her and forcing her to face the music, this will be very interesting.

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