Mayor Dawn Zimmer's remarks as written for HUMC today

Remarks of Mayor Dawn Zimmer
Hoboken University Medical Center
Hoboken, New Jersey
October 7, 2011

As Prepared for Delivery—

Good afternoon. By now you’ve heard the great news — that the federal bankruptcy Judge, Judge Steckroth, has approved the sale of Hoboken University Medical Center. This is the best possible outcome for the citizens of Hoboken; we will now be able to save our hospital and preserve the financial health of our City. This is a huge milestone and the final legal hurdle. We’re saving 1,200 jobs, maintaining our City’s and our County’s primary acute care medical facility and relieving our City of a $52 million bond guaranty that we could not afford and that had the potential to destroy our City’s finances.

There are many who deserve credit for this achievement.

First, I want to thank the heroes of the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority Board. These are volunteers who spend countless hours for no other reason than their desire to help their community. They worked tirelessly to get this deal done at great personal sacrifice. Let me introduce them to you. Some of them were able to be here with us, and some of them could not join us, but the people of Hoboken need to know their names: Toni Tomarazzo, Chair of the Board; Vincent Riccitelli, CEO of the hospital; Dr. Fayemi, Dr. Kozel, Eric Kurta, Jonathan Metsch, Steve Rofsky, Catherine Williams, Norman Wilson, and Tejal Desai.

These are the faces of committed volunteers who are the foundation of our community. Their contributions to our City have been invaluable. These individuals kept their eye on the ball, never losing focus even when their reputations were unfairly attacked.

The Judge’s ruling today makes it crystal clear that the allegations we’ve been reading about had no basis in fact or law. These were unfounded claims recklessly promoted by politicians and others in pursuit of their own personal agendas and unrelated to the best interests of our community. I call on the elected officials, both in Hoboken and elsewhere in the State, and they know who they are, who have promoted these allegations to immediately and publicly apologize to these heroes of Hoboken. This is important, because politicians all too often exploit the cynicism in their communities when it benefits their political purposes. It’s time that they be held accountable for their false and misleading statements.

I also want to thank the members of the City Council majority, Council President Bhalla, Vice President Cunningham, Councilman Mello, Councilwoman Marsh and Councilwoman Giatttino, for their trust and support. Last but certainly not least, I want to thank Governor Christie for stepping up and contributing $5 million to save our hospital when our own toxic politics was going to force it to close.

When I became Acting Mayor two years ago I knew this was something that we had to do, but I did not know whether it could be done.

Together we are making it happen, and on behalf of the City of Hoboken I say thank you.

Talking Ed Note: Complete video will follow.

– Posted at full gallop

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