Councilmen Dave Mello and Peter Cunningham: Raise your voice for Hoboken tonight

From the desk of Councilman Dave Mello:

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This evening, at 6:00 PM, the Hoboken City Council will be holding a Special Meeting, called by Mayor Zimmer.  I am requesting your attendance at and participation in this emergency meeting – WE SINCERELY NEED YOUR HELP!  During this meeting, we will be voting on a parking agreement that needs to be passed in order for the City of Hoboken to sell our hospital: Hoboken University Medical Center.  This sale will have a number of beneficial effects on your families, your community, and your wallet, including:
Please understand, the parking garage that we wish to enter into an agreement with the hospital purchasers regarding only exists because the old hospital owners deeded land to the City of Hoboken over a decade ago to construct it.  This garage was a win-win for the City of Hoboken and the then St. Mary’s Hospital because it:
  • Created sufficient parking for the hospital employees and patients.
  • Allowed the hospitals then surface parking lot property to be used for the construction of the hospital’s new emergency room.
  • Allowed Hoboken to build and OWN a centrally located garage, massive in size, with the majority of its spots serving residents of Hoboken.
Please read this quoted section from an August 23, 2002 article printed in the Hoboken Reporter for more on this history of this garage:
New spaces
The other large-scale construction project that the HPA is currently undertaking is the St. Mary Midtown Garage. The new 740-space garage is being built adjacent to the St. Mary Hospital between Third and Fourth streets on Clinton Street. The garage is scheduled to open as early as October.
The lease signing, which was held last Dec. 21, [2001] is a public-private partnership in which the hospital donated the bulk of land to the Hoboken Parking Authority under a 99-year lease arrangement. In turn, the Authority will build, own and operate the facility. [emphasis added]
Under the terms of the agreement, the hospital will lease 300 of the 740 spaces for the nurses, doctors and staff, and operate the ground floor professional medical office space. The remaining 440 spaces will be set aside for hospital visitors and Hoboken residents.
To enter into a parking agreement with the new hospital owners will simply replace the already existing agreement (referenced above) with the current hospital (also a 99 year agreement and already in existence).  This updated agreement is a necessary step required for the closing of the hospital sale to go through.
This hospital has been losing money for years.  We were exceptionally fortunate, as a city, to locate a buyer.  Yes, this is a private buyer.  Yes, this buyer and it’s partners in this transaction are conducting themselves like business people; business people who will not finalize a sale to acquire an asset that could potentially be fatally degraded in value.  This is why the parking agreement calls for parking access to still be licensed to the property owners should the hospital someday stop operating as a hospital.  This is not to say that the owners first choice, goal, or priority is not to operate this building as a hospital into perpetuity.  That is their goal – to operate a hospital for decades to come.  However, any business must maintain the value of its assets across as many potential scenarios as possible.  Hence the 99 year term of the parking agreement we will be voting on, and its clauses that address multiple long-term license scenarios.
Please understand that, should this building ever prove inoperable as a hospital, the parking spaces would have to be leased by the property owner AT MARKET RATE.  No non-hospital parking consumers will ever receive a discount under this agreement.  Also, this market rate will be paid per licensed transponder, the moment the building ceases to exist as a hospital, if such a situation ever occurs.  There will be no grace period for years of zoning applications.  There will be no grace period until certificates of occupancy are awarded.  Market rate would be due for every license from day number one, or the agreement is voided.
It is my hope and expectation that this hospital will be a hospital for decades to come.  I sincerely believe this is the same hope, expectation and goal of the proposed new owner.  
Our city must no longer be the owner of this hospital.  We CANNOT be the owner of this hospital, make payroll, or otherwise operate this institution any longer.  If this sale fails to go through, the hospital will close, hundreds of jobs will be lost, and we taxpayers will be on the hook for $52 million dollars due to the bondholders of the bond that was taken out by our city, on this hospital’s behalf, years ago.
Please also consider attending the 5:00 PM rally in front of and march to City Hall in support of a yes vote, which begins at 308 Willow Ave.
Thank you for taking the time to read this plea.
Sincerely, your friend and neighbor,
David Mello
David Mello
City Councilman At-Large
The City of Hoboken, NJ  07030
twitter: djmello
Councilman Peter Cunningham at the tax relief event with Gov. Chris Christe in Hoboken last year.  Is MORTe about to do a no show and open the door for the Big Man to come in and stop their destruction of HUMC and Hoboken?  Cunningham raises the question in his note to constituents below.
From the desk of 5th ward Councilman Peter Cunningham
At 5 pm TODAY, there will be a RALLY to save Hoboken University
Medical Center and the Hoboken Tax Payer from a potential financial
and economic disaster, and/or possible state takeover, in Hoboken.
Please forward this message around.  
Thanks, Peter
Peter Cunningham

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