More Morristown whirl

Dougherty campaign complaining about mailings not being delivered ….

Morristown election whirl

With the mayoral primary four days away, state Senate President Richard Codey began making “robo calls’ on Donald Cresitello’s behalf to Morristown Democrats today. Codey and the mayor went to the same high school, Oratory Prep. 

Meanwhile, a possibly libelous piece attacking Councilman John Cryan is being apparently stuffed in mailboxes … Is the town postmaster watching?

One concern that is watching is Morristown Memorial Hospital … At last night’s debate, Cresitello made reference to wanting to tax as much of the hospital as possible. Hospitals, as we know, are tax exempt, but they do pay taxes on revenue-producing parts. How much that is, is subject to negotiations. The mayor hopes that after all is said and done, the town may be able to garner as much as $2.4 million a year. Hospital officials caught wind of the comments and released this statement this afternoon:

Since its founding more than 100 years ago  Morristown Memorial Hospital has remained a non-profit organization, and is designated as such by the IRS. All activities on the hospital campus are dedicated to our charitable mission and revenue is invested back into services and programs to serve the community.

 

As is common practice for hospitals in New Jersey and across the country, Atlantic Health has established an insurance company domiciled in the Cayman Islands.  AHS Insurance Co. LtD.,  is wholly owned by Atlantic Health and its sole purpose is to pay claims against our hospitals, Morristown Memorial Hospital and Overlook Hospital in Summit.  We own the insurance company; it most certainly  does not own Atlantic Health nor Morristown Memorial Hospital,  which has been a not-for-profit  for more than a century.  This form of “self-insurance” through an off-shore entity is a standard business structure. 

 

Atlantic Health paid more than $2.5 million in taxes on its revenue generating, for profit businesses in 2007, such as our parking garages and some real estate holdings.  Atlantic Health is the largest employer in Morris County and the largest taxpayer in Morristown.  In addition, in keeping with our mission to serve our community as a non-profit health care provider, Morristown Memorial provided $20 million dollars in charity care in 2008.

 

Republicans were there; then they were not

Thursday’s night League of Women Voters debate began with the four Democratic council candidates and the three Republican council candidates on stage together.

That was odd. Why were Republicans there; all are going to win. After all, they’re running unopposed in the primary. 

When it was time for the mayors to debate, Republican mayoral candidate Jm Gervasio was not on stage; he was in the audience. Gervasio said he submitted a statement to be read by the moderator, but that didn’t happen.

Strange indeed.

Face off in Morristown

There are “stark differences” between us, mayoral candidate Tim Dougherty said at the start of Thursday night’s debate with incumbent Donald Cresitello.

The mayor retorted that his more than 30 years experience in local government made him qualified to be mayor for another four years.

At least 200 people were jammed into the auditorium of the Alexander Hamilton School, an impressive turnout, for  a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters.  League debates are often quirky; the rules are odd.

For instance, the audience was forbidden to clap — were we in the fifth grade — and some questions were deemed inappropriate. No one wants cheap shots to be prevalent, but the first question was about the Design and Review Committee. The Design and Review Committee?

Things did get better. Cresitello scored points by talking about his efforts to get Morristown Memorial Hospital to pay taxes on its revenue producing property. He reasoned that if the hospital could pay its three top executives more than a million dollars a year in salaries (These were his figures) it could make payments to the town.

Dougherty said he wanted to see how much the town is paying in legal fees to fight this battle.

Dougherty also touched on making government more open, a common theme.

The mayor said accusations that government in Morristown is closed are  “just a  lot of nonsense from my opponent.”

The format did not allow for rebuttals, or for the candidates to question each other. That was a shame.

Twitter Updates for 2009-05-28

  • The AP just moved a test story for primary night. It reads Rick Merkt, GOP, nominated Governor, New Jersey. #
  • Steve Lonegan starts what he calls a “victory lap” with visit to gazebo in downtown Hackettstown between 9 and 10 am tomorrow #

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Debate in Morristown

Donald Cresitello and Tim Dougherty face off tonight at a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

This is the only face to face meeting of the campaign and one can only hope for spirited exchanges …  The League’s format can be stifling at times, or too confining. Hope that’s not the case tonight.

The debate is at 7:30 pm at the Alexander Hamilton School.

Update on "Jersey Joe" and John Inglesino

“Who am I supposed to hire?”

That was one response from state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio in regard to his hiring of former freeholder John Inglesino as a part-time aide. The $3,000 a year job keeps Inglesino, a former Rockaway Township mayor and county freeholder, in the state pension system.

Pennacchio was not being snide; simply, he was pointing out that a former freeholder was an ideal candidate to be hired as an aide.

This is an issue, because gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie says part-timers should not be in the state pension system. Inglesino is a close associate of Christie.