Tuesday, August 26, 2008

SILENT TAPS

Since the Council agenda setting meeting was cancelled along with next week's Tuesday meeting I went to the POP meeting. I was interested in hearing what their attorney Zurofsky had to say about the possibility of an appeal.

My own opinion was confirmed. Zurofsky feels that an appeal at this time would be useless. Not only could it take years to come to court and the likely hood of a positive resolution was slim. The hospital has been closed,it is dead. There are some other actions that could be considered that would make it possible to open a new acute care hospital, but that would need an accommodating commissioner of DHSS.

Zurofsky repeatedly reinforced my contention expressed at the Council meetings for several months, that aggressive action had to be taken by our Municipal government along with the backing of the other affected communities. Instead there was several months ago a mild protest resolution buried in the Consent Agenda, and nothing else until a 'petitioner's resolution request the Commissioner to be sure Solaris met all the requirements in her letter granting the CN to close.

Plainfield lost its hospital not through the machinations of a conniving hospital administration with the pre- acquiescence of the State Official who failed her fiduciary responsibility to verify the validity of Solaris' claims. The blame lies with Plainfield's Municipal Government which through ineptness or political intrigue or political fear or because of a hierarchical conflict of interest refused to take the necessary strong action.

Politically, the Freeholders would offered no support, and our State Assemblyman 's action was to not use his influence in Trenton to contest the Solaris request for closure approval, but to offer a plan B task force to work within Solaris' promises.

This area and its health care had been sold down the river by those that should have fought for it. There is a faint hope that something can still be accomplished, but only if the municipality is willing to commit financial resources. Perhaps the Mayor will enlighten the attendees at Tuesday night's Town Forum.

By the way everyone should read Atty. Zurofsky's brief that he filed with Commissioner Howard prior to her ruling. I am sure she never read it and treated it as part of the circus of the public hearings.

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