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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kim Glatt Releases Letter Long-held by Dawn Zimmer that Reveals Dire Financial Conditions at Hoboken University Medical Center

Hoboken Taxpayers Potentially Liable for Additional $52 Million in City-Guaranteed Debt

Zimmer Exposed Third Time in Less Than Two Weeks for Mismanagement, Attempts to Conceal Facts from the Public

Hoboken, NJ – Former Hoboken Municipal Judge Kimberly Glatt today released a letter from the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority to the New Jersey State Department of Community Affairs that reveals Hoboken University Medical Center will run out of funds to meet payroll unless it receives an emergency $22 million infusion of state aid. The conditions at the hospital raise the looming possibility that Hoboken taxpayers may be liable for an additional $52 million to cover City-guaranteed bond payments. The letter, obtained by Glatt through an OPRA (Open Public Records Act Request) exposes Dawn Zimmer for the third time in less than two weeks for ostensibly withholding material information from the public in advance of the November 3 special election for Hoboken Mayor.

Glatt called on Acting Mayor Zimmer to hold an emergency meeting of the City Council to discuss the financial condition of the Hospital to the public, explain the implications for Hoboken taxpayers, and outline the steps that her administration has taken to address the matter.

Kimberly Glatt stated: “Release of the Hospital Authority letter marks the third time in less than two weeks that mismanagement by Dawn Zimmer has uncovered. First, Dawn Zimmer admitted during a recent mayoral debate that she failed to meet a September 30 deadline for a multi-million-dollar sewage infrastructure grant that would have helped alleviate Hoboken’s flooding issues in the Southwest area - despite possessing and having full knowledge of the deadline for months. Because of Zimmer’s inability to act, all Hoboken taxpayers must shoulder the full $6 million cost of the infrastructure improvements.

More recently, Glatt condemned Dawn Zimmer’s attempt to misuse her dual offices of Acting Mayor and Council President to hastily push through an ordinance and emergency resolution that would have erased 75 residential parking spaces on Adams Street near developer Frank Raia’s movie theater and replace them with metered parking for theater patrons.

Today, Glatt’s release of the Hospital Authority’s letter, marks the third occasion in which Zimmer’s failed leadership threatens to burden Hoboken taxpayers with yet another huge liability.

Kimberly Glatt stated: “I am deeply troubled by the revelation that Hoboken University Medical Center desperately needs an emergency infusion of $22 million in state aid to keep its doors open. Hoboken needs a hospital. HUMC provides a vital service to our community, particularly our seniors, and it also provides top-quality healthcare to residents all around Hoboken. I will strongly support responsible efforts to keep HUMC operating and serving the community.

“I am equally troubled that for the third time in less than two weeks, it’s been learned that Dawn Zimmer has had full knowledge of an important issue affecting Hoboken and she has chosen to withhold information from the public. This is a deeply troubling pattern of behavior that shows she simply lacks the ability to lead our City.

“Dawn Zimmer has failed to present a budget despite her many promises. Her stated reasons simply do not hold up to the facts. There is no reason she could not have yet presented a budget. The facts show that her priorities lie with seeking election to the mayor’s office at the expense of Hoboken’s residents.

“In just the past three weeks, there have been three striking instances of Dawn Zimmer’s inability to lead. She failed to submit an application for a multi-million-dollar sewage infrastructure grant which could have helped address Hoboken’s flooding issues. Although she knew about the September 30 deadline for months, she took no action and now all taxpayers must pay the full $6 million cost.

“Just last week, Dawn Zimmer attempted to use her position as Mayor and Acting Council President to push through an ordinance and emergency resolution to erase 75 residential parking spaces on Adams Street near Frank Raia’s movie theater and replace them with metered parking.

“And now, because of an OPRA request, we learn that Dawn Zimmer has long known about financial struggles at HUMC that Hoboken taxpayers may be liable for and she chose to keep it hidden. By her actions, Dawn Zimmer has made hollow all her promises of transparency and openness in government.

“In just a few short months, Acting Mayor Zimmer has demonstrated she cannot lead our city. This disturbing pattern of failed leadership followed by denial of accountability cannot go on for another four years. I am running for Mayor on November 3rd to bring integrity and real leadership back to City Hall.”

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