A Stunning Development In The Saratoga Hospital Expansion Process

A real stunner of a City Council meeting tonight.  Much more will follow but it is late (are any City Council meetings not long and drawn out?)

To the surprise of the other Council members, Joanne Yepsen and John Franck recused themselves from any further involvement with the Saratoga Hospital expansion.  This seems particularly bizarre because they have participated in the two previous (and very long) public hearings on the expansion.  What suddenly prompted their action tonight is simply unknown.  I will review the video tomorrow but Joanne Yepsen said that she either has had or expects to have Saratoga Hospital as a client.  She is a consultant for fundraising.  John Franck, as best I understood him, has been the accountant for the housing complexes by the hospital.

The City Charter requires that in order to pass legislation a majority of the Council must vote affirmatively.  This means that any legislation must have at least three affirmative votes.  Commissioner Mathiesen asked City Attorney Tony Izzo what would happen were he to recuse himself on this issue.  Mathiesen noted that his father lives in Birch Run.  Tony admitted that he really did not know.  Nothing of this sort has ever come up.  Commissioner Mathiesen then indicated that he did not plan to recuse himself.

Basically, if any of the three were not to vote for the Hospital’s PUD application, it would fail.  My take on this is that Michele Madigan is very much in support of the hospital.  It is unclear how the other two Council members will vote.

 

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9 thoughts on “A Stunning Development In The Saratoga Hospital Expansion Process”

  1. John,

    “Very much in support” is a strong statement. I have much to review as do the 3 of us who are suddenly left to lead on this at the 11th hour. While I do believe we need to be moving toward a discussion and vote, the 3 member Council still has much left to consider on this project. I stated clearly that my main objective, if this passes, are assurances that the neighbors are not engulfed in a hospital complex. I expect the 3 of us will be quite busy. 3 Commissioners who either manage large departments, or are managing large complex projects on behalf of the City, and now must manage this without the resources or input of a full Council.

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    1. Why wouldn’t you have the hospital and the neighbors work this out before hand? Why has this gone this far? The hospital has been trying to sneak this through with little or no publicity. If this continues on, How would you assure the neighbors that they are not going to be engulfed by the hospital project? There is really only one way, VOTE NO to the project.
      At the end of the meeting last night I heard the LA group say they really haven’t completed their plans for Morgan and Seward St as far as widening the streets. How can you possibly make a decision on this without knowing who it’s going to impact and how much? The original SEQRA is a joke . Have a new independent SEQRA done.
      This has been a flawed project from the beginning BUT you still have a chance to redeem yourselves, VOTE NO.

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      1. WHY? Why would a not-for-profit hospital try to ‘sneak’ something through? This is for the betterment of not only our (yes, OUR) hospital, but also for the community, city and county at large. It will also help doctors serve patients better. I’m sorry neighbors might have to deal with a little more traffic (most of which, btw, comes from OTHER sources), and has to look at a new building. ANYONE that purchased a dwelling in that area HAD to expect something like this to happen. But no one is losing their home, or even potentially losing a home here. As I noted elsewhere on here, I grew up on Geyser Road when there was all of seven homes on the street, and now it’s somewhere around 2500. I survived it, and the area is thriving with a things like a school, rec field, shops, and even a large tech park! Yours will too – and with the added benefit that a few more lives will probably be saved.

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      2. It was very sneaking and undercut how this hospital went about this. More over, building office space near the hosiptal does not save lives. Don’t be silly. This is a small local hospital, albeit improviments are always welcomed, but this is not an improvement. It is much more logical to building on Church St and West Ave where there are existing medical offices and streets more able to handle increased traffic, or build up on the hospitals existing footprint. There are options, what makes you scratch your head is why are they insistent on this property and why does Madigan support the hospital so blindly and have no willingness to even discuss reversing the comprehensive plan that was done under shady circumstance?…

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      1. Your statement appears to indicate you are not well informed on the impact this would have on the neighborhood. WE ALREADY ARE A THRIVING NEIGHBORHOOD, as you put it. The hospital is a business that wants to expand at the expense of the neighborhood around it. As Jack stated , your comparing apples to oranges.

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