Sunday, October 2, 2011

Soul Patch

In 2007, Hoboken Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo voted in support of a $52 million bond to finance keeping Hoboken's St. Mary's hospital open. Fast forward to 2011, the hospital now renamed Hoboken University Medical Center is on the verge of bankruptcy and Hoboken is faced with losing the hospital, along with over 1000 jobs, and taxpayers are on the hook for paying back the $52 million.

In an effort to save the hospital, the hospital board put the hospital up for sale with terms that ensured the hospital would stay open and that the buyer would assume the hospital's debt. The bidder selected by the board requested that, as part of the deal, $5 million be paid to them in order to assist with paying back creditors. Hoboken's Mayor Dawn Zimmer requested that the City Council vote to support bonding the $5 million in this last ditch effort to save the deal.

When it came time to vote, Councilman Russo launched into a rambling, disjointed speech, whose underlying message was clear: he would rather see Hoboken without a hospital than see the Mayor help save the hospital. He would not vote to support the deal because he hates the Mayor.

To read more about Councilman Russo's corrupt approach to politics, see