Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hospital Battle Continues

I have been sitting here for an hour now pondering what to say about Tuesday's forum. I didn't really want to attend, then decided to go just to witness the action. There is a straightforward report in the Courier News that sums up the main points. It is the gnarly nuances that stick in my mind, like Jerry Green's declaration regarding Solaris, "If you don't help us, then we're going to charge you $3 million in taxes."

This after he said, "Our strategy is we're going to take back our hospital."

Certainly strategies abound in the struggle to make state Health Commissioner Heather Howard and Solaris officials see things Plainfield's way. Green wants to hold up a $170 million bond issue for Solaris until all the community's questions about the parent company's dealings with Muhlenberg are answered. The mayor says there are four buyers in the wings. Meanwhile, Muhlenberg has surrendered its license to the state, so a new entity would have to start from scratch with licensing, as I understand it.

In answer to questions from the public, the mayor said she does believe the city did all it could do to keep Muhlenberg open. Green complimented People's Organization for Progress for all its activism to save Muhlenberg.

"They have brought us together," he said, even though a lot of the heat from POP was directed at elected officials.

Borrowing a street term to describe the new battle, Green said, "It's on."

The mayor, Green and about 30 activists at the forum did seem to be on more cordial terms than in the past, a feat in itself as the 2009 election season also seems to be "on."

Memo to JG: Don't bother to call me at home to yell at me. I have caller ID and I'm not picking up.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone should start pointing out to the community that the political actions taken by JG and the Mayor leading to delays in financing will ultimately kill JFK Hospital, pushing available healthcare ever further from our needy residents.Trenton's policies killed MRMC.The situation was so bad that not one viable (ie one with operating experience and confirmed money in the bank)wanted to buy the hospital.Stop the paranoia and conspiracy theories and start demanding quick resolutions to the hurdles which keep JFK from expanding and surviving so that it is there for our community.If this needless political bantering continues, our elected officials will force Plainfield residents to drive ever farther for acute care.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The previous comment sounds like it came from a Solaris spokesman.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JFK has never "been there" for the Plainfield community, and from all I'm hearing it isn't "there" for us now.

Muhlenberg has "been there" for all of us and God willing it will be again.

7:06 PM  

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