Repeal The Steal - Vote AGAINST 64

February 5, 2016: You receive notice that you must vacate your home; no one else is allowed to occupy the dwelling that used to be your home.

November 9, 2016: You receive notice that you must bulldoze your home; you are responsible for all costs.


In December 2015, when Mayor Michael P. Summers and City Council voted for a Master Agreement that shuttered Lakewood Hospital, they placed the City of Lakewood - your home - into this exact position.

In August 2007, Fred M. DeGrandis (then President and CEO of Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals) wrote that by 1985, Lakewood Hospital was the last city-owned hospital in the state of Ohio. Therefore, if you live in the city of Lakewood, you are ‘part-owner’ of Lakewood Hospital.

But, a Non-Compete Clause inserted into the Master Agreement, prevents any other hospital system from occupying that space - AND, it is the responsibility of the City of Lakewood (your responsibility) to pay for it to be bulldozed. 

Now, isn’t it curious in a community of over 50,000 residents and the highest population density of any city in Ohio, that a Mayor, along with other officials, would agree to such action?  And, implement it eleven years before any need to do so?


In city council meetings, it was repeatedly said, that healthcare is changing; that we don’t need a hospital; that with proper nutrition and exercise, we will be the healthiest city in America.

However, organic produce, grass-fed beef, no antibiotic/no hormone/free-range chicken, gluten-free and non-gmo products are pricey. Not everyone’s budget can afford such healthy food.

As for exercise, a multitude of ailments, such as muscular/neurological disorders, orthopedic impairments, vision and balance challenges, etc. prevent many from jogging, cycling or working out in a fitness center.

If Lakewood doesn’t need a hospital, then why did Cleveland Clinic build a hospital in Avon?  

Why not just educate those Lorain County folks about the value of eating and exercising properly?  

Oh.  Wait a minute.  I know why. Lakewood is diversified both financially and ethnically. 

Lakewood has a large elderly population, whose only income is from Social Security; and, there are a number of folks, who are dependent upon financial aid.  

In other words, there is less profit to be made in providing healthcare to folks, who have limited incomes.

In 1996, Cleveland Clinic signed a 30-year lease with Lakewood Hospital. But, with 10+ years remaining on its contract, CC wanted out. Through subpoenas and depositions in the taxpayers lawsuit, it’s been learned that a plan, developed at least as early as 2010, was in place to undermine the services of Lakewood Hospital and to vacate the dwelling in 2016, rather than 2026.

Rather than enforcing the lease and demanding that Cleveland Clinic fulfill its contractual agreement, the city officials of Lakewood stepped aside and allowed Lakewood’s largest employer, Lakewood Hospital, to go dark. 


Half-way through a 20-year lease with the Golden Arches, Cleveland Clinic tried to oust the fast-food giant from its food court. Serving Big Macs, fries and shakes in a hospital known for cardiac care conveyed an inappropriate image.

But, pressure from CC did not work. McDonald’s held to the terms of its lease and did not leave until its contract expired.

Now, wouldn’t you think, that if Cleveland Clinic had to abide by a lease with McDonald’s, that in turn, it should be bound by its contract with Lakewood Hospital? Why didn’t city officials enforce the legally binding agreement?

Why trade a hospital that for years had a birthing center, performed cerebrovascular and neuroendovascular interventions, provided level II trauma service, and a number of other services…… for a family health care center?  

The fair-market value of hospital assets based on Lakewood Hospital Association data was $120 million. The no-bid deal’s cost to our community and future is $80 million. What remains is $40 million, the value of property and cash in the deal for Lakewood. We are being robbed.  

This is not a good deal for you and me.


Read More on Letters To The Editor
Volume 12, Issue 21, Posted 4:56 PM, 10.11.2016