As part of the posturing going on between two dysfunctional organizations, the children’s hospital has claimed in a bankruptcy court filing that it might move to a different location.
Our county judge reacted with this statement according to the Times:
County Judge Veronica Escobar said that if Children’s Hospital was to move, it would break faith with the public.
“They wanted to leave the taxpayers high and dry,” she said in a text message.
Her statement was deliberately misleading. The taxpayers voted to build a children’s hospital. They did not vote to give our county hospital an extra $10 million a year from charging rent to the children’s hospital. The county thus gets both our tax dollars to pay for the bonds and the money from the children’s hospital. Our county leaders and the county hospital are the ones that have broken faith with the public.
Reality Checker posted this comment the other day:
If you consider that EPCH only occupies four or five floors of the 10-story building that was built with children’s hospital bond money, you begin to realize the level of UMC’s greed. UMC is charge EPCH more than $10,000,000 in annual rent, which works out to about $46 per square foot annually for the 225,000 square feet occupied by EPCH. Compare that to $23 per foot for medical space in Houston.
So UMC built the EPCH building with dollars earmarked for a children’s hospital and is now having EPCH pay for the entire building, despite the fact that EPCH occupies half the building or less. UMC of course doesn’t have to pay rent for the half of the EPCH building that it occupies.
Why is it that both our county officials and the media refuse to dig into the lease rates and service fees UMC has been charging?
Why is the county refusing to share publicly the details of both sides’ offers and counter offers?
Which is better?
High and dry sounds a lot better than getting soaked the way the taxpayers are in this deal.
We deserve better