Community Voices Of Opposition

Below are other voices and essays speaking out against the ruinous Downtown Utica hospital concept. You may also be interested in #NHD RADIO and #NHD TV. As well as still more comments against the downtown concept

Voices of 2018

March 3, 2018 Our Oneida County Historian, Joseph P. Botini, writes again, Little Minds Warp Great Ideas

February 19, 2018 I would implore all of you to not give up this fight. They are not our lords and masters! It is our tax dollars that are going to fund this monstrosity! A nurse manager, a wonderful dedicated person, I spoke with over the weekend kept repeating, "But we'll lose the $300 million if it doesn't go downtown", then lose it! Don't send good money after bad! Don't further compromise this area's healthcare! Don't further burden the remaining tax payers with pipe dreams! We can't afford it! Lois Pirro

February 18, 2018
Subject: I Support your cause
Dear Sir or Madam:
First of all, I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've made to thwart the idea of this downtown hospital. I believe it will be a disaster for downtown Utica. I've looked over your website and I can't seem to find any references to the hospitals in Syracuse.
If you need an "in your face" reason to show people why Utica doesn't need a downtown hospital, you only need to make the one hour drive to Syracuse. Park your car in the garage off of Adams street on a Friday afternoon and walk around "hospital hill" with a video camera. Be sure to invite your local elected officials. The traffic is horrendous. Parking is difficult to come by and is extremely expensive when you do find it.
The only reason the shops and restaurants of the Marshall Street neighborhood survive is because SUNY Upstate, SUNY ESF, and Syracuse University are butted up against the hospital district. Their students (plus thousands of SU sports fans that flood the area whenever the opportunity arises) are the driving force behind the economy of that area. I highly doubt many of the businesses there could make it if only Crouse and Upstate Hospital were there to supply customers. Utica cannot even come close to that kind of customer base downtown. There are no universities drawing thousands of students there, no sports teams with anywhere near the fan base of SU, and even the AUD at full capacity is a pittance compared to the Dome.
If Syracuse is the model that Mayor Palmeri and County Executive Picente are looking to for this scheme, they are trying to compare ground beef to filet mignon. I'm not trying to put Utica down, but they are absolutely not "sister" cities from an economic or demographic perspective.
When I hear the politicians talk about economic development in Oneida County, it always sounds to me that they just want to be East-Onondaga County. They want the same things Onondaga County has, not what's best for Utica and Oneida County. They're not the same place and each has different needs and different solutions for its economic woes.
Syracuse has Hancock Airport, so then Oneida County spent millions to have "Griffiss International Airport" even though no commercial flights arrive or depart from there.
Onondaga County has Interstates 690 and 481 to get through and around Syracuse, so Oneida County spends millions on the Rt. 840 extension, which is basically an expressway running from nowhere to nowhere. They also spent millions to "upgrade" the Rt. 5-8-12 arterial so it looks a little bit more like an Interstate. How many traffic problems did that actually solve?
Syracuse has more jobs than Utica, so Oneida County spends millions on the "Nano-Utica" jobs scheme which has been a complete failure.
Now they want a Downtown hospital, just like Syracuse has! What next? Move Utica College and MVCC Downtown as well? Perhaps they'll want to pipe in water from Onondaga lake!
Maybe you should just start calling Mayor Palmeri the "Ben Walsh-wannabe" and Picente can be "Joanie Mahoney-jr." (Picente and Mahoney did both endorse Cuomo in his last election).
Oneida County was a great place to live, but schemes like this are taxing people there to the bone (a major reason I refuse to buy a house in Oneida County, despite working in it - currently living in Madison County) ... and it's only going to get worse if more people like you don't stand up to your selfish, thieving politicians and stop the drunken-sailor spending spree they seem to be on.
I hope you'll take the time to travel to Syracuse and document the headaches their downtown hospitals cause to show the folks in Utica and Oneida County what they are in for should your efforts fail.
Good luck in your fight,
Robert S.

February 7, 2018 - Many more comments of opposition regarding MVHS's newest tactic, "We're The Hospital, And We're Here To Help You", including Joseph Bottini and others. A separate page is needed to properly layout this latest news.

February 7, 2018 - Contrary to unchallenged remarks made by Mohawk Valley Health System official, Bob Scholfield, this morning on the WIBX (Bill Keeler Radio Show), experts at the United States Department of Transportation did indeed designate the proposed Utica downtown hospital site as a toxic "RED ZONE". SEE ATTACHMENT Emergency Response Guide This is the official document that establishes the 1/2 mile red/evacuation zone in the event of an oil train spill/fire.​ ​See Guide 31, page 200​ "If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions." Submitted by Frank Vescera, Utica, NY

Text Version of above Tweet: (Mr. Steve Grant, President of Landmarks Society of Greater Utica) writes, "Going back to historic home and building ownership, the proposed Downtown Hospital plan continues to worry the folks within the “footprint “ who stand to lose everything should it proceed. And more and more area taxpayers are starting to worry about the plan also as more details (or the lack of?) come to light. Conversations around town as well as the increase in the Letters To The Editor in local papers stating the people’s opposition to the plan prove that the awareness is increasing on this questionable downtown site. I should add here that the Landmarks Society does not oppose a new hospital. The Society simply feels that the downtown location would be a mistake and that the currently open acreage at the St. Lukes campus would be a far better location for a regional health center. To put it another way, the overall cost of building downtown will be devastating to both Utica’s historic downtown and Utica’s purse and pocketbook holders."

February 1, 2018 - Another statement by Oneida County Historian, Joseph P. Bottini, Downtown Hospital Truth

January 21, 2018 - Rumor has it that a billion dollar car rental corporation is renovating 525-527 Oriskany Street West - the old Labor Ready building (click for evidence of rumor). They're putting over $225,000 into the property and this will bring high paying jobs for the area, assist with City of Utica tax base and be the "first ever" global car rental agency to have presence in the City of Utica. It would be a disgrace to the City of Utica if this hospital concept continues. We valued our city and very proud of the news that a global corporation is going to be a part of it. Name Withheld

Your comment today is spot on; Cuomo is financing his entire so called economic development program with debt. It is a huge speculative gamble with our money. Although I think the hospital site is a done deal for all of the wrong reasons, the project may implode all by itself. If it does not, I predict the project will take 8 to 10 years, if finished. Many of the sick will be deprived of its medical benefits while the EDGE, lawyers and politicians prosper. Happy New Year, Rodger

Voices of 2017

Utica architect & civic leader, Mike Bosak makes his case Against Building The Hospital Downtown, as printed in December Utica Phoenix

Private citizen pokes fun at politicians seeking to take wrecking ball to Downtown Utica...

On June 14, 2017 a Downtown Utica property owner, Wilcor Co-Owner (Ms Karen Corrigan), Speaks To Oneida County Legislators.

October 4, 2017 - Peg Roberts writes to Governor Cuomo...

August 31, 2017 - Joseph Peter Drennan‎ writes to #NoHospitalDowntown and states, "Ever since I first became aware, over two years ago, of the audacious proposal of local politicians and hospital administrators to shutter..." Read entire letter

Read this August 31, 2017 essay from Joseph Peter Drennan‎ to #NoHospitalDowntown.

Read online version of Mitchell Pedzek, Jr's Op-ed

Read "Downtowners" Do Not Want A Hospital District

Voices of 2016

April 9, 2016 - A letter from a cafe owner in South Utica...

Supporters of the plan to build a hospital in downtown Utica suggest that it will lead to a great increase in foot traffic downtown and provide a major boost for small local businesses. Opponents of the plan cite research that shows that commuters to jobs in the inner city tend to drive in, park for the day and drive out keeping their business activity where they live. Research shows that the people who support downtown shops are the ones who live there or nearby in the city. As a small business owner in Utica, my experience supports the latter point of view.

My coffeehouse has been strategically located between Faxton and St. Elizabeth hospitals in Uptown for 14 years. When I opened I expected I would see a lot of hospital worker business. I have seen almost none. Hospital commuters may go through the fast-food drive-through windows but they don't walk or drive to local shops. Most probably grab their coffee at a drive through on the way to work. I expect that the downtown experience will be the same with new McDonald's and a new Dunkin' Donuts near the hospital doing very well and the small local business a few blocks away seeing no change.

I am tired of our city making development decisions based on the funding available. Isn't it time to begin to build what we need not that for which we can get a handout. Downtown needs to become walkable. People walk around in cities that have connected blocks of small shops at street level, preferably in older, funky buildings, like those in Franklin and Bagg’s Squares. We need to keep our older building intact and to develop in and around them. Put the hospital where it belongs at the current St. Luke’s campus.

Orin Domenico, Owner, Cafe Domenico

We’ve also seen amazing progress in the revitalization of our downtown. Over the past five years the city has successfully marketed and sold 12 major commercial properties to private developers, 10 of which are located in the downtown/Bagg's Square corridor. These 10 downtown properties alone have combined for over $1 million in sales, put nearly $6 million of assessed property value back on the tax rolls and cultivated over $34 million in private investment. Robert Palmieri, Mayor of Utica

Voices of 2015

October 4, 2015 - There's one important question missing that hasn't been answered: WHY does this hospital require 17 acres of building, as well as another 17 for parking in the heart of a downtown of a city of 61,332? In fact, if you look at the Attached Image I submit, none of these hospitals approach 34 acres, and most are not downtown. Utica Rising

October 4, 2015 - The monies involved should point to the Mohawk Valley. We need a hospital period! If this is a state allocation why should Utica be priority? Herkimer and Ilion closed many years ago, Little Falls is not an operational facility.... come on valley people! We need a hospital. Joyce Collea

Voices of 2014

December 31, 2014 - Hospital affiliation - The big news of 2014 in the local health care system came in March when Utica’s hospitals – Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center – formally affiliated under a new parent, the Mohawk Valley Health System. The affiliation was necessary, officials said, to meet current financial and regulatory challenges; both hospitals lost money last year. So far, patients have seen few changes as a result of the affiliation, but the health system will likely consolidate at least some services in the new year. Officials have even talked about building a new hospital to replace the three current hospital buildings. Utica Observer-Dispatch

November 29, 2014 - 'Dream' of new hospital would be a nightmare - "Cash-strapped facilities have opted to renovate existing buildings to suit modern needs rather than take on the expense of new construction." Anyone who has lived in Utica for the last 50 years knows that this does not tell half the story. Renovating existing buildings has indeed been done, but the sites at St. Elizabeth and Faxton are hardly recognizable for all the new wings that have been constructed in successive stages. St. Luke's original section is less than 60 years old, and the addition of new wings to the original building over the years has been mind-boggling. Duplication? There is only one maternity center, one heart center, one cancer center. Do we really want just one emergency room for the whole area? The money for this plan will come from "$8 billion dollars in savings from Medicaid redesign." That money is not a windfall. It is the taxpayers' money that will no longer be spent in the future when the present fraud and waste have been reduced. Scott Perra needs to wake up before his dream becomes a plan. Jerome F. Weber, Utica, Utica

Downtown Utica is better without an out-of-scale hospital that bulldozes our historic urban core. #NoHospitalDowntown is "yes hospital", we simply want the new hospital at St. Luke's where they own 64-acres, and not in the Columbia Lafayette Neighborhood. Here's Why We Oppose The Downtown Utica Hospital Concept and Many Agree!

No Studies, No Reports, thus we remain #NoHospitalDowntown