todd vainisi wrote:From a layman's standpoint, with little bias, the mayor's answers were quite understandable and convincing.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your analysis is not way off base, but I disagree with your conclusions.
In his deposition the Mayor indicated that he was unaware of the Cleveland Clinics "decanting" plan until August of 2015. We know from other sources that the plan was formulated in 2009 and perhaps as early as 2008. The decanting plan called for the removal of services from Lakewood Hospital with the intent to close down the Hospital. It is still unclear when the Cleveland Clinic intended to close down the Hospital, possibly in 2016 or more likely at the end of the lease term.
(I applied for a position on the Hospital Board a few years ago. During my interview I suggested that the Clinic intended to loot the Hospital of its business and assets and leave behind an empty shell. My comments were not well received.)
What we do know is that the LHA and City Council and the Mayor were not told of the decanting plan. We also know that the Clinic was secretly implementing the plan while assuring Council and the people of Lakewood and the LHA that the Vision of Tomorrow would insure the success of Lakewood Hospital far into the future. Were the Clinics actions a fraud committed against the people of Lakewood? I guess we will have to wait for the results of further discovery.
What we do know is that the City had an asset with a book value of approximately $135 million dollars. The question is: How best to realize the true value of those assets?
The Mayor and the LHA had choices to make: (Please keep in mind that the Clinic and LHA owned nothing. ALL of the assets of the Hospital are City assets.)
1. Allow the Clinic do drain away the assets and business and be left with no assets and no business at the end of the lease term, 2026.
2. Demand that the Clinic live up to its lease commitment to maintain services, maintain the Hospital as on ongoing concern, maintain the Hospital in "substantially the same condition" and to honor the commitments made under the Vision for Tomorrow.
3. Remove the Clinic and the LHA for their failure to perform their contractual obligations and their numerous violations of the lease agreement, demand their cooperation in restoring the Hospital and in finding a new operator for Lakewood Hospital.
4. Close down the Hospital as soon as possible and retain all of the assets for the people of Lakewood. The book value in 2014 was about $135 million.
In his deposition the Mayor admitted that he and his associates were in over their head. So, what he decided to do was implement a hybrid plan that contained the worst elements of the 4 above options.
1. The Mayor and LHA decided to help the Clinic drain away the assets of the Hospital by approving the transfer of City owned assets to Avon and Fairview with no adequate compensation.
2. The Mayor and Council voted to provide a release and total indemnification for the Cleveland Clinic and LHA for all past wrongs and all breaches of contract and retroactively approve the Clinics "decanting" plan.
3. Rather than remove the Clinic and LHA the Mayor approved a plan that would give members of the LHA control over City assets and provide the Clinic with a monopoly on health care in Lakewood. The Mayor failed to market the hospital, engaged in a sham bidding process, ignored other viable offers and then lied about it all.
4. The Hospital will be closed down but the City will NOT GET the $50+ million in cash and investments, will NOT GET its beneficial interest in the Lakewood Hospital Foundations $33 million, will NOT RECEIVE full value for the Columbia Road property and WILL NOT get one penny from either the LHA or the Clinic for
their willful destruction of City property.
What do we get? A small medical office building that will act as a referral facility for Avon and Fairview. The Mayor has created a health care desert and calls it the future of health care. (Well, in Lakewood I guess. The Clinic is building hospitals in Avon, Mentor, Twinsburg, Medina and IN LONDON just down the street from Buckingham Palace.
Years ago the same person that told me about the plans for Avon and the plans for the destruction of Lakewood Hospital told me about the Clinics String of Pearls Strategy. The Clinic intends to drain away the business in Cuyahoga County and encourage the outmigration of business and people from Cuyahoga County to surrounding areas.
Armond Budish are you listening?