Death And Taxes, Lakewood Style
Benjamin Franklin famously said that, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” In Lakewood, the certain death of our hospital is our mayor’s ambition. He rejoices in the death of our hospital, despite the fact that the City of Lakewood had iron-clad contracts assuring that our hospital would be in operation as a full-service facility providing medical and surgical services to our citizens until 2026, eight years from now. He rejoices in the death of our hospital, despite the fact that the hospital contracts provided seven million dollars for indigent medical care. He rejoices in the death of our hospital, despite the fact that Lakewood stroke victims are no longer within two minutes of emergency hospital care.
In his ambition to assure the death of our hospital, the mayor insisted on placing a restriction on the use of the hospital building to prevent it from being put back in operation as a medical and surgical hospital. While such restriction is contrary to law, the mayor (who’s supposed to be our advocate) preferred to help the Clinic to be successful in the operation of its medical building now standing where Lakewood’s medical building once stood.
One of the tactics of Murder Incorporated uses to hide its crimes is to dispose of the body. After killing the medical and surgical function of the hospital building, the mayor now seeks to dispose of the corpse by entering into another giveaway of city assets to a developer and tear down the building so the evidence of the hospital murder will no longer be in the public view.
Furthermore, if a more honest administration and council were to be elected, they would be prevented from restoring the building to its intended purpose if were still standing. Hospital health care for indigents could be restored.
The city income tax revenue was not benefited by the loss of the $900,000.00 generated by the over 1,000 hospital employees who are no longer on the hospital payroll. Moving the doctors and other personal from other Lakewood buildings where they are already paying city income tax to the Clinic's new facility on Belle Avenue does not add to the flow of income tax revenue for the city. That is certain.
When asked at a community meeting about the loss of hospital payroll tax, the mayor commented that Lakewood’s income tax rate is lower than other cities. A Freudian slip on the part of the mayor? One should not be surprised that when the mayor talks about everybody helping out, he really wants to stick his hand in your pocket.
He already stuck it to you when he gave away your hospital.