Stop The Madness!

I think that this whole Hospital issue needs to still be centered. I get that the Keep Lakewood Strong activists want Issue 64 not to pass so the city can have a discussion on the issue they couldn't have two years ago to the open public. I also get that City Council and the Lakewood Hospital Association did everything they could to keep it open, even though a small section of Lakewood's citizenry disagrees with that notion. Also, as a two year resident of Lakewood, I think it must be said that from the newcomer's eyes, there has already been a discussion going on regarding health care options in this city. I will probably vote against Issue 64, but out of principle because I believe that people should have a say in their health care options, but I think it must be said to those in between this current ordinance and the last one needs to have questions answered, and I would really appreciate a reply in the form of a rebuttal to this article. 

Let's say Issue 64 doesn't pass- what is Keep Lakewood Strong's plan to run the hospital space? Does anyone in the advocacy group know how to run a hospital? If the hospital was hemmroaging money, what is Keep Lakewood Strong's plan to restore the hospital's fiscal number to a sustainable, operating budget? Let's be fair here, nostalgia and emotional investment do not keep a hospital running, and if the Cleveland Clinic had to bail out Lakewood Hospital in the 1990s, and the location itself was not financially sustainable, wouldn't it make perfect fiscal sense to limit services? To the new eye, it does look like the dependence on City Council, the Lakewood Hospital Association, and the Cleveland Clinic to do their jobs to guarantee some resemblance of health care in the city of Lakewood puts a fallacy of logic on those who want to restore the hospital to what it was beforehand two years ago. 

Also, we need to consider that it is possible that City Council didn't let Lakewood citizens in on this deal because of the reaction that has obviously ensued. Last year, a Lakewood citizen posed a question in an editorial about what was then Save Lakewood Hospital's plan. Well, what is the plan? If there is a lawsuit on the boards, why haven't Lakewood citizens gotten a sample of the documents in the Observer? Why haven't Lakewood citizens be let in on all matters confronting the issue? It's one thing to be a step above your opposition, it's another to be dependent on them and respond for the sake of responding. If we are supposedly supposed to be upset over a deal we were not let in on, shouldn't we be let in on every other deal following? If we are just supposed to have an outcry, what do we do with it? 

I get the anger, I do. I just think that centering it on City Council and the Lakewood Hospital Association at this point for blame when the Cleveland Clinic, who for lack of a better word, bailed out Lakewood Hospital in the 1990s, and only managed to find similar fiscal problems. Was the deal a steal? Yes. The past two years has been nothing but the same conversation of constant reiteration of facts and anger about those facts. It begs the question whether or not Lakewood citizens should have had the Clinic bail us out in the first place in the 90s at all. But, unless there is transparency from the Keep Lakewood Strong activists who are demanding transparency from City Council, the Lakewood Hospital Association, and the Cleveland Clinic, and it seems the history of rebuttals in the forum section has been transparent as can it on here, I think Lakewood citizens would appreciate the same of Keep Lakewood Strong/Save Lakewood Hospital. We need to know that if Issue 64 doesn't pass what their next steps are going to be. If its for a discussion between City Council, the Lakewood Hospital Association, and the citizens of Lakewood, it's too late for that. We are already discussing. If Keep Lakewood Strong/Save Lakewood Hospital wants to keep talking about health care rights for the citizens of Lakewood, and what they plan on doing next and share it with the public in the form of sharing the legal case depositions in this newspaper, please feel free. 

Of course, Issue 64 could pass, but there is a high chance the cycle of one side not listening to the other (and the hint is that it isn't City Council or the Lakewood Hospital Assocation) and the "fight" will continue and those who want to move on and make best of the equation are somehow blamed for being a part of the problem when no one was in the room who needed to be in the room by those who equally weren't in the room but want it as it was two years ago exactly and nothing more. I think the citizenry of Lakewood need more than just directives to be angry, we need action. If constantly berating City Council and berating our neighbors for not being on the "right" side of this political circumstance was enough, then the last referendum would have passed as Keep Lakewood Strong/Save Lakewood Hospital wanted. 

This issue has become not only polarizing and dividing, but plain exhausting, especially to this Lakewood citizen. Unless someone in Keep Lakewood Strong/Save Lakewood Hospital can come up with a way to restore an inpatient hospital in an age where better coverage is happening and people's needs are met with more outpatient models, then by all means, move the molehills and make a mountain. Just tell me how you are planning on doing that. 

Tim Collingwood

I am a Lakewood resident of the past year, who writes blogs for Tumblr, and have written blogs for TCM, and am/was the Akron Classic Movie Examiner. I would like to write about issues pertaining to social justice issues and how they are affecting the Lakewood community. I believe in the power of citizen journalism, and as a reader of Lakewood Observer, I like that I get it.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 5:52 PM, 10.25.2016