Jeff Dreger wrote:Seriously, am I missing something?
The most annoying part of the Hospital debate is the unwillingness of Council to stand up for the people of Lakewood and stand up to the Cleveland Clinic.
The new Master agreement is just a bad real estate deal.
Just the highlights:
The LHA and the Mayor refused to market the hospital and refused to respond to Metros proposal. The LHA and the Mayor refused to discuss an agreement with Mercy Hospitals. http://www.e-mercy.com/
The LHA and the Mayor refused to market the Columbia Road property. Surgical Development Partners is willing to pay $10 million for the City's property in Westlake. Council says they would rather accept $8 million from the Cleveland Clinic.
The lease required the Clinic to return the Hospital to the City as an on going concern. Council says never mind.
The lease required LHA to maintain all of its leased property including the parking garage. The LHA failed to maintain the garage and diverted parking lot revenue to help pay for the Clinic's $24 million in annual "administrative fees". We are now told that a $10 million City asset has been so degraded that it must be demolished at City expense at a cost of at least $1 million. Council says that's ok. Not only that, Council has agreed to spend millions more to build and maintain a new parking platform at no cost to the Cleveland Clinic.
The lease states that ALL assets of the LHA, including cash, investments, land, buildings, fixtures, licenses and receivables are to be returned to the City at the end of the lease. Since the LHA has unilaterally terminated its lease all of those assets NOW BELONG TO THE CITY. Rather than take possession of those assets the Council has agreed to transfer those assets to a new Foundation controlled by the Cleveland Clinic. $75 million just thrown away.
The Clinic promised to maintain services under the Vision of Tomorrow. Council says forget about it.
But there is more.
The $33 million in assets now held by the Lakewood Hospital Foundation are to be "repurposed". I believe one key driver in the LHA's efforts to dismantle the Hospital was its desire to transfer control of the Lakewood Hospital Foundations assets to the Cleveland Clinic. $33 million gone. One member of the LFA board stated that the LFA is not part of the Hospital discussion. Well, it should be. City Council says..... nothing.
$75 million in Hospital assets, $33 million in Foundation assets, 1,500 direct and indirect jobs, hundreds of millions in economic activity and almost all of Lakewood's medical infrastructure is transferred elsewhere.
What does the City get in return?
A second rate medical office building. The proposed "Family Health Center" is not a Family Health Center and it is a distortion of the highest order to say that it is. The 62,000 square feet is 40% smaller than the current office building on Detroit at Belle and will have NO GUARANTEED SERVICES.
The proposed "emergency room" is not an emergency room. It is a urgent care facility with emergency room prices. Even now anyone with a real emergency is taken to Fairview. Ambulances now bypass the Lakewood Hospital Emergency room. Can you imagine a heart attack victim being taken to the new emergency room?
What about the economic development aspect? Every economic study done about Northeast Ohio comes to the same conclusion. In 20 years the region will have fewer people and less economic activity. In that environment it is vitally important that communities keep the jobs they have because new jobs are impossible to find. In Avon, Brunswick, Twinsburg and Mentor and all across the region communities are bragging about the positive economic impact medical jobs bring to their communities. At a recent Council meeting Councilman Sean Juris stated that medical jobs have no financial impact on a community.