November 3, 2016
Subject: Downtown Utica Hospital, MVREDC Board Seat
Dear (MVREDC Board Member),
Since Nano Utica appears to date to be a lumbering boondoggle, an effort to buy time is underway. It's to minimize, deflect attention away from the region's abysmal jobs and population trends, and our moribund economy.
So the MVREDC, and your affiliates, have whipped-up an amazing concept: a Downtown Utica hospital district! Did you know that your board was a part of this hospital (a.k.a. an "Eds & Meds") scheme? Maybe you're not aware, just sitting on the MVREDC board rather innocently, not in on every meeting, or those perhaps held in executive session, and or at a bar or maybe over a preceding game of golf?
Regardless! Every year, 100,000 people leave New York state, along with a countless number of jobs!
So someone, somewhere, created a 5-year Urban Renewal style concept, one that could distract taxpayers and residents. One that your agency could support, lend perceived credibility to, and the all important regional buy-in. That's it right? Hey, let's be honest, wasn't that the hope?
It's an "amazing health care facilities transformation", Albany's $300 million dollar gift to the local Utica-area politicians for playing along as Nano limps along. Meanwhile, plenty of upside for other key players, partners, etc.
No, no it's not, you say? â€ŽSorry, we don't buy it. This concept is just a "Potemkin Village", look it up. Plus it is totally devoid of medical facts of Utica's current and future hospital infrastructure needs, population density, available site options- very few hard facts at all!
Yet, it's even worse:
1) No public commenting periods as required by the funding legislation.
2) Forty-one (41) businesses now being disrupted. Not "just a few, or several businesses" as our local media has very conveniently reported.
3) Today the City of Utica is posting false zoning maps on the city's website. The site for proposed hospital is by law a "Scenic & Historic" district with clear building specifications. A hospital district concept doesn't match or fit, not by any stretch of one's imagination.
4) The City of Utica submitted an "edited" Common Council meeting "tape" to the TV station for public broadcast. This is also a violation of legislation - a total disregard of the public trust.
5) The firm consulting to the Mohawk Valley Health System is a "real estate investment firm", specializing in wealth generation via MOB's, or "Medical Office Buildings". The Hammes Company rolls-up parcels, finds high-wealth individuals to invest (aided very heavily in this case by New York State taxpayers), and then leases properties(s) back to the health system/hospital. Hammes' plan would not work, as no real estate money would change hands, if a new hospital is built on the 64-acres that the hospital today owns at their St. Luke's campus - so Downtown Utica is selected! Imagine that!
6) The Master Plan of the City of Utica has been ignored. Only 25 citizens, at best, attended the two poorly advertised "citizen review" meetings. These meetings were run by, and the resulting end paper, crafted by a college dean who had already tendered his resignation to the college, and who already given away his bias at the meetings. This dean's paper was full of errors, and give aways to its poor quality. Never was a hospital, much less a 34-acre hospital district, part the Utica Master Plan, and overwhelming voices were opposed to its addition! However, only days later, the dean was on the radio touting the Downtown Utica hospital concept with politicians selling us their ill-conceived concept.
There's much more to this story, but, do you really need to know more? Be it known, we've only begun to fight the unjustified placement of the hospital downtown.
Are you aware of the "Hospitalgate" occurring here in Utica? Did you know about any detailed plans for Downtown Utica, or are you in the dark- like most Mohawk Valley residents today because of the lack of information?
We'd love to hear your thoughts. Would you be willing to talk with our investigation team, and or our legal team? Sorry, we just have to ask; it's our city's future hanging in the balance, you understand, right?
If you had hoped to be part of a cheering board, who dreamed of having had a hand in "Utica's amazing health care transformation", things might just not turn out as you hoped. It'll be better that way, trust us.
Thank you for hearing our group's views, more at website listed below.
PS - We'd plan to post your position next to your name Here Please respond:
b) Against Downtown Utica Hospital,
c) Don't know what you are talking about, or
d) No comment