BENCH SLAPPED – LAST CALL TO “DESTROY THE ADMINISTRATION” & HUMC
Hoboken was days away from seeing saved Hoboken University Medical Center in late October 2011 and with it the more than 100 year old institution. Add to the list the City of Hoboken itself which backed the hospital with tens of millions in bonds. The cost to wind down the hospital was estimated in the neighborhood of $80 million. Hoboken runs on an annual budget of approximately $100 million and bankruptcy was being whispered inside City Hall.
With the hospital all but saved the sale is days away and passage of the midtown garage is approved by the City Council on a party line vote 5-4 as council members Beth Mason, Michael Russo, Terry Castellano and Timmy Occhipinti all vote no. The garage transfer via the ordinance’s passage will go into effect in 20 days.
There’s only one problem. The hospital doesn’t have funds to make payroll through the 20 days as told at the preceding council meeting by Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin and the buyer says it can’t execute the sale without the garage so the hospital can succeed.
As Mayor Zimmer makes a direct appeal to the public to attend a special emergency meeting of the City Council on a Sunday afternoon asking the 20 days be waived, not everyone is looking to see the hospital saved by merely having the City of Hoboken stand aside and see the hospital sale be completed.
It would costs Hoboken nothing to allow the ordinance to go into effect sooner but it would cost 1200 jobs and the City everything if sabotage succeeded.
In the emails below, Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi and Sara Stojkovic discuss just such an internal Masonista plan hatched to crush the hospital sale by installing a poison pill into the transfer of the hospital garage.
The sabotage under discussion is to “haul ass” and collect signatures and make the garage transfer a ballot question by referendum. A delay of this magnitude would ensure the absolute destruction of Hoboken Universtiy Medical Center. (No bidder put forward a viable offer except one and the complex transaction required months long efforts from early January 2011.)
The references below to the insiders working on behalf of Beth Mason to achieve that objective appear to be her Weehawken based political operative and “business partner” James Barracato and her husband, Ricky Mason of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
|Object of Beth Mason’s disaffection: Hoboken University Medical Center.|
Complete original emails from October 25, 2011 follow:
What is Beth trying to get on the ballot? What election?
From: Sara Stojkovic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: OK…please clarify
To: “Kim Cardinal” <email@example.com>
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 10:12 PM
Two days ago, James and Ricky told me that the city should let the public decide on the parking
Per James: The ordinace doesn’t go into effect for 20 days. You notify her you plan to challenge it
and haul ass to get the 3,000 signatures needed to get it on a ballot for a special agreement.
Per Ricky tonight: And a lot can happen in the next 20 days.
Yes, but which ballot? We don’t have another city election until 2013. Would there be a special
election for just the referendum in December? January?
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 11:10 PM
To: Kim Cardinal <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: OK…please clarify
You will have to ask James and Ricky. I’ve been talking to them for two days and they’ve given me bits and
pieces of info (in 24 cryptic emails) but not the whole picture. I don’t want to ask any more because they’ll
mistake that for interest in helping Beth.
I’m just going to wait and see what Beth sends out tomorrow.
Related: The hospital part I:
The hospital part II: