HOBOKEN — While four members on the nine-member Hoboken City Council had hesitated to vote to expedite a parking agreement that would help close the sale of Hoboken’s hospital to private owners, they sent out a press release on Sunday saying they have now struck a deal with those owners.
The members of the council minority often voted against the policies of Mayor Dawn Zimmer. Thus, Zimmer was hoping one of them would change his or her mind at Sunday night’s City Council meeting and vote to expedite a 99-year parking agreement that the potential new owners of Hoboken University Medical Center say is necessary for them to purchase the facility.
Until Sunday, the Zimmer foes did not appear ready to vote for the agreement (see related stories linked below). But over the weekend, the Zimmer foes apparently met privately with hospital buyer HUMC Holdco and released a statement.
Their statement is below. Do you think this is an example of clever negotiating that will benefit both the taxpayers and the hospital, or did the minority hesitate to vote for the agreement at first so that they could rush in and save the day? Who are the real heroes here? Comment below! Comments from the mayor’s office will be posted here when they can be obtained. And watch the meeting here at hudsonreporter.com, where sparks may well fly.
Statement from council minotiry
The Hoboken City Council Minority, composed of Council Members Theresa Castellano, Beth Mason, Michael Russo, and Tim Occhipinti, and HUMC Holdco, the proposed buyer of the Hoboken hospital, have reached an agreement to enact HUMC Holdco’s parking access agreement immediately in exchange for a written agreement to keep the
Hoboken hospital open for at least seven years, a designee on the new Hospital board, and the establishment of several important community health programs. This will allow the sale of the Hoboken hospital to proceed immediately.
These Council members repeatedly attempted to meet with Mayor Zimmer to address the community’s concerns with the sale. However, the Mayor refused, even stating the new owners would not negotiate any aspects of the transaction.
The agreement between these City Council
members and HUMC Holdco, negotiated through the evening last night and today, flies in the face of the Mayor’s claims. It also demonstrates HUMC Holdco’s willingness to work with all members of Hoboken’s government and its commitment to ensure the concerns of all residents are addressed…
Two of the main parts of the minority’s agreement include:
“An agreement to allow the City Council Minority to designate an appointee to the new hospital board. This appointment shows the buyer’s commitment to increasing community participation in the future of the hospital and allows all residents to have a voice.”
“The establishment of several community health programs as a give back in exchange for the 99-year parking agreement. These programs include pro bono medical services for low-income residents, a women’s healthcare center, a sports and alternative medicine program, and a senior citizen services program. The parking agreement allows the new owners to save approximately $12 million in costs since they will not have to pay to construct their own parking facility. These programs will compensate the community for this subsidy being provided to the new hospital owner. ”
After the sale’s completion Hoboken taxpayers will be relieved of the $52 million bond guarantee the city agreed to in 2007 to purchase the hospital.