November 27, 2017 - New hashtag, #CorruptionDisruption Our area hospitals were merging, preparing for the future, but now it's a new Downtown Utica hospital. How did we arrive here? What events and what players have had their hands in the concept?
Was it corruption? Is it corruption, and or would it become corrupt? Or was it more innocent? Perhaps it was something like the following story, but first this tweet...
The million, no billion, dollar question! Was it corruption, is it corruption, and or would it become corrupt? First we offer an introduction https://t.co/bMeL1Vtd0n & introduce our new hashtag #CorruptionDisruption pic.twitter.com/xvD7MPNs21— #NoHospitalDowntown (@NoHospitalDwtn) November 27, 2017
Seeking to help our Utica hospitals and related facilities prepare for healthcare delivery and healthcare insurance changes, our elected officials sought a piece of New York's healthcare spending. With three hospitals working to merge and with two different nursing unions, someone grabbed onto the "new hospital" concept.
Someone then mentioned that our Governor was seeking to "rebuild Upstate's downtowns". Someone else (actually everyone) was getting upset that, "Nano was not taking off", “No jobs to replace all the lost factory jobs, and no jobs building buildings”. Someone then blamed Utica's "beat-down” economy, and then another person cried out about the difficulty trying to attract people and companies to our small and poor city.
Somewhere, someone else said, "Let's build a big shiny building in a very highly visible location downtown - the Governor is going to love us! With such a huge downtown construction project, all potential Nano CEO's, students, and visitors would not miss the fact; Utica is a diamond in the rough. Utica is ready for the world stage, once again, just as we did with the Erie Canal's digging!" Then still another somebody said, "We sure could use better parking around the AUD!"
Yet then someone said, “What about all the land and buildings at St. Elizabeth’s, Faxton and St. Luke’s?” Can anyone imagine what happened here? Were there deals made, promises made?
Anyway, slowly the concept took shape. Then the thought was, "How to roll it out", that was the next challenge. How to make a "new downtown hospital" appear as if it was something that was happening in "real time"... a process that; 1) had community input, 2) solved real issues, 3) eliminates blight, 4) builds new infrastructure, 5) brings the AUD parking, and 6) creates jobs, new jobs...
Step one was to run a newspaper article stating, "Downtown's Columbia Lafayette Neighborhood was undeveloped; because nobody wanted the property. Development was happening in other pockets of downtown, but over in the Columbia Lafayette area, there was nothing happening. Just a bunch of busted-up buildings."
Then our leaders would start the talk about, "Hey, there's money for a new hospital" and the hospital CEO would "whisper it" at a hospital fundraiser. Then the search for the ideal spot for a new hospital location. Yup, could this be how it all got started?
Nothing to do with actual and immediate healthcare solutions and improving the assets we have now. No, it was just getting Utica's hands on Albany's money. Now today it's become a battle between and "Yes" and "No" on a downtown hospital location. Just think of all the wasted hours, weeks and years...
Happy Holidays Folks, #NoHospitalDowntown