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Government and People
Council of the District of Columbia
OFFICE OF COUNCILMEMBER MARION BARRY
September 17, 2007
WARD 8 COUNCILMEMBER MARION BARRY OUTRAGED BY GREATER SOUTHEAST NEGOTIATIONS
Today, Councilmember Marion Barry expressed outrage at the manner in which Mayor Fenty has negotiated an agreement transferring control of Greater Southeast Hospital. “Once again, Mayor Fenty and his administration have disrespected the 140,000 citizens who live east of the river and their elected representatives on the Council on a matter that will affect the people of who live east of the river for years to come”.
Barry, who had been involved along with Chairman Vincent Gray and Councilmember Catania in the preliminary discussions prior to these negotiations, commended Councilmember David Catania for his “leadership and vigilance in stopping the hemorrhaging caused by Paul Tuft’s ownership of Greater Southeast Hospital.” I was satisfied with the progress of negotiations at point, said Barry. “Specialty had agreed to a loan package from the city of 20 million for equipment, 10 million for Capital improvements and 27 Million to pay off creditors and Paul Tuft. Specialty was to put up 20 million of its own money into the deal. As I understand it the loan has now become a gift. This is unacceptable and a misuse of local funds”, said Barry.
“It is now clear to me that the city could have purchased the hospital for half of what it is now giving away”, Barry continued.
Barry was informed of Today’s press conference announcing the terms of the Sale by Joanne Ginsburg, a Fenty Staffer, “but I was not given neither the terms or details of the deal.”
“I have had to call around to get information on this deal, which is offensive. It is like buying a pig in a poke and I am not going to support this when all of the terms are unknown to me. For example, I understand that the city would have a lien on all equipment in the hospital, but we cannot realize a return unless at some future date the hospital is sold”.
“I won’t sit idly by while the city makes such a mistake, said Councilmember Barry. “If the same deal had been awarded to Carl Jones, an African American, who negotiated for a year to purchase the hospital, he would now be the owner and services would already be in place for east of the river residents. This hospital is far too important an issue to be handled in secrecy. We have to get the best deal possible for the residents of Ward 8 and the Council should have been included. The Mayor is operating in the same isolated manner as it did with the appointment of Michelle Rhee as Chancellor, with Poplar Point, and Alan Lew’s appointment as head of School Facilities and that is a mistake.”
I will vote against this sale until the terms are altered to reflect the interests of the citizens of the District of Columbia”, said Barry.
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