Former Councilperson Urges A Vote Against 64
I was on Lakewood Council in 1996 when we worked with the Mayor and Law Director to craft a document assuring that Lakewood residents had continuing access to quality health care services. At that time, Lakewood Hospital became part of “Cleveland Clinic West” which included Lutheran and Fairview hospitals. The Clinic was expected to operate Lakewood Hospital, enabling our hospital to continue to thrive in the rapidly changing health care market. Protections for Lakewood Hospital and flexibility for the Clinic were included.
I doubt that any of us expected Lakewood Hospital to look the same in 2026 when the lease was due to expire. But, it never crossed my mind that the Clinic would purposefully dismantle the hospital, sending its patients elsewhere while planning and now building a new hospital in Avon. I would have expected our current City Council to demand that City assets/contracts be transferred in an open process—one that enabled them to seek and consider competing proposals. I would have expected that public properties would be sold to the highest bidder through an open bidding process. It would have never crossed my mind that an ordinance adopted by City Council would include a non-compete clause that gives the Clinic power over the use of a City-owned facility.
Cleveland Clinic is very influential, and the largest employer in the county. There is no doubt this is a David-vs-Goliath endeavor. But, what has happened to Lakewood Hospital is wrong.
Over 3,000 Lakewood voters signed a referendum petition to put the issue on the ballot. Lakewood deserves a better deal--one that assures Lakewood residents have accessible, cost effective services that meet their needs. Vote Against Issue 64. It’s not over!
Nancy J. Roth--Retired Councilmember, Lakewood Ward 4
Former Lakewood Councilmember, Ward 4