The following is a letter posted on Cleveland.com
Our State Senator, Lakewood resident and former Lakewood Councilman Michael Skindell, a candidate for mayor of Lakewood, has publicly stated Lakewood Hospital (which Lakewood owns) can and should be saved.
He is right, but his opponent, Mayor Mike Summers, publicly, wrongly states it should be closed, as Cleveland Clinic, which leases it till 2026, insists, because it does not want Lakewood Hospital competing with its new hospital in Avon. MetroHealth expressed interest in running Lakewood Hospital, but that proposal was sabotaged by Summers. Electing Skindell will give Lakewood a fresh start with MetroHealth and an honest effort to find a good partner to run Lakewood Hospital, even if it has less beds and adds a wellness center. Lawyers for the Save Lakewood Hospital organization suing in court to save the hospital have discovered documents proving Cleveland Clinic planned years ago to weaken and close Lakewood Hospital.
Legislation introduced Sept. 8 in Lakewood City Council by lame duck councilwoman Mary Louise Madigan and councilman Tom Bullock (both voted to close the hospital as its trustees) and councilman Sam O’Leary would, if passed, authorize Law Director Kevin Butler to negotiate with Cleveland Clinic to close Lakewood Hospital. It does not allow Butler to negotiate with MetroHealth or anybody else that wants to save Lakewood Hospital. So it is a dirty deal from bad intentions, to serve Cleveland Clinic. In Ward 3, Mark Schneider is running for City Council. He wants to save Lakewood Hospital – unlike his opponent John Litten, who voted to close it as a Lakewood Hospital Trustee.
In the November general election a referendum should be on the ballot, by Save Lakewood Hospital, for Lakewood residents to vote to save the hospital, despite certain untrustworthy politicians acting as puppets of Cleveland Clinic, and big business vultures who would profit by replacing the hospital with something less valuable to the Lakewood public.