Last week-end, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn closed on the 2014 city budget without making any provisions to save Long Island College Hospital (LICH). Because she has abdicated all sense of municipal leadership over the collapse of strategic public resources, such as hospital closings, to a laissez-faire belief that she's adopted from her close associations with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the right wing group Partnership for New York City, she is creating opportunities for other leaders to step forward in this political and leadership vacuum.
And that's exactly what happened yesterday, when the father of one of her challengers for this year's Democratic mayoral primary election, Bill Thompson, was appointed by a court to serve as a monitor over LICH.
Let's see if the Thompson family's political ambitions will be strong enough reason for New York City's leaders to perform the political triage necessary to save LICH. If the Thompson family succeeds, it will only draw attention to how Speaker Quinn has stood idly by and allowed 10 New York City hospitals to close or downsize during her speakership, including the spectacular 2010 closure of St. Vincent's Hospital in Speaker Quinn's very own City Council district.
Lack of political triage to save LICH forces court to appoint Bill Thompson's dad as monitor over Brooklyn hospital. http://t.co/QdpUSFYz5o— Stop Christine Quinn (@stopchrisquinn) June 28, 2013
As a side note, what does it say about the disfunction of our political system that we must seek justice over the management of strategic community resources, such as community hospitals, from court-appointed monitors ? How much more of a sign do we need that New York City's political leadership are incompetent and/or their abdication of their political responsibility is so dangerous that the judicial system is called forth to intervene on behalf of public health ?