Distortions Distract From Good And Honest Government: Response To Mayor Summers' Letter To The Editor

Mayor Summers has finally acknowledged that he has had a hidden agenda concerning a recreation center on the Lakewood hospital site. In his letter published in the Observer Forum last issue, Mayor Summers admitted:

  1. “[T]he idea of a recreation center was part of early conversations….among people charged with envisioning a healthier future for the community.”
  2.  “The Cleveland Clinic sketched out a .. recreation/wellness facility in envisioning the future for the Lakewood Hospital site. This concept and others have been part of an ongoing discussion about the future of health care in our community.”

Mayor Summers made these admissions when confronted with disclosure of previously secret documents dated in May, 2014--the documents only came to light this June. In addition the "Build Lakewood" political action committee, that includes among its founders, Lakewood Planning Director Dru Siley, claims in its website that “the City of Lakewood has already been contacted by a number of local and national developers interested in proposing projects for development on the land.

So Mayor Summers acknowledges secret discussions with the Clinic, unnamed private developers and unnamed people that he claims are “charged” with planning our future. These hidden discussions and plans all presume the closing and demolition of our publicly owned hospital that has provided, among other things, over $126 million in charity healthcare to our community just since 1996.

Court filings made in the taxpayer lawsuit on July 31, 2015 revealed even more secret documents that reveal that the Clinic had a covert “Master Plan” commissioned in 2011 to siphon medical services, equipment, and employees from Lakewood Hospital to Fairview Hospital in preparation for the closure and razing of Lakewood Hospital. The plans refer to the “economic development” of the hospital site that Mayor Summers is now working on in secret.

The new disclosure of documents now requires Mayor Summers to speak publicly, completely and clearly as to his knowledge of, and involvement with, the Clinic’s 2012 Master Plan to weaken and close Lakewood Hospital.

Good and honest government requires leaders who speak truthfully and without distortions. Can Mayor Summers make a clear and unequivocal statement that he will stand up to powerful and abusive corporate interests and work on behalf of the people of Lakewood?

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Volume 11, Issue 17, Posted 5:56 PM, 08.04.2015