Friday, July 03, 2009

Just What Has The Health & Hospital Corporation Been Up To For The Past Three Years?

A source in Indianapolis' construction trade business tells me it's been no secret in those circles that the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County's Board of Trustees has been laying the groundwork to build a $900 million new hospital to replace Wishard Hospital for at least the past three years. In fact, word on the street is that they've already lined up an architect to design the building. That's the same way Lucas Oil Stadium went down. The CIB quietly began purchasing land and making plans for the new stadium years before the public had any idea what was happening. Early on in Mayor Peterson's administration he was asked about talk of a plan for a new stadium and denied its existence.

If you have some spare time, rummage through these old board minutes of the HHC and see if you can find any discussion of the new hospital. You'll have a tough time. I think the board minutes use the term "HHC Strategic Plan" as code whenever the topic of building a new hospital is concerned so nobody can read the minutes and figure out what the hell they're talking about. I also notice that attorney Greg Fehribach serves on the board. He makes his living as a city contract attorney, getting paid well north of a $100,000 annually. Gee, whose interests does he represent on the board I wonder?

The next public inquiry needs to resolve which Marion County legislator stuck a public referendum requirement this November for Marion County, a special election that will cost taxpayers well over $1 million, in the state budget without a public hearing on it. There would have been no extra cost to taxpayers if it had been scheduled at a regular election. The Health & Hospital Corporation's registered lobbyist is Barnes & Thornburg. Did B&T lobbyist, part-time City-County Councilor and wannabe state senator Ryan Vaughn have anything to do with placing the referendum language in the state budget? Inquiring minds want to know.


Paul K. Ogden said...

According to Indianapolis Time the referendum would hit in an off year, this year. Is that right? The Clerk's Office would have to put on a special election, costing hundreds of thousands to dollars. And in a low turnout election llike that, HHC would have an enormous advantage.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The idea, Paul, is to rig the outcome of the election. These people will stop at nothing to short-circuit public participation.

artfuggins said...

I dont understand. If NO tax revenue will be used then why is a referendum needed? I find it hard to believe that no tax money is needed. Explain, AI, you are the attorney here.