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>Valley Hospital : Hospital town or sleepy village?

>Please — why waste money on an “expert” to opine on Valley? Whether we are for the renewal or against the expansion, we all know the issue to be addressed and we don’t need an expert to tell us. Simply put: the hospital can’t be maintained in its current site and size, so, should it be made larger? End of story.

We need to either decide: Ok, the hospital needs to expand to better serve our health needs and there may be some cost to the safety and beauty of the Village; or, no, it doesn’t get to expand.

We don’t need an expert to either define the question or suggest answers to us. Audrey Myers is an expert, and a fine person, and she has already told us the hospital can’t exist in its current location. Therefore, the issues are easily devined. For example, on the one hand, we could lose a tremendously fine hospital that is a stone’s throw away; the hospital is an attraction to people buying homes in the Village; or, more significantly, because I will have to travel further, I may not make it to a hospital in time to get the life saving care I or my children need. On the other hand, allowing an admittedly out of character building and being known as a hospital town will devalue the property values throughout the entire town; Pascack Valley and Hackensack really are not that far away: as the hospital further drains town resources, our taxes will go up; and, significantly, I or my child might be struck by an ambulance or delivery truck barrelling down any street in any section of our town.

There are difficult, stark choices. Life by no means presents easy decisions.

But what stikes me here is the inability of our Village council to simply make a stand here and now. There is no need for an expert. We don’t even need further debate. What more can be written or said?

The issue is framed — Are we a bedroom community where we raise children and live out our lives? Are we a hospital town that serves and is sustained by the needs of the hospital. There’s nothing wrong with either option. But let’s not kid ourselves anymore.

Hiring another expert is precisely the sort of stupid nonsense that this Village council has been engaging in for years. It has lost all backbone. And, once again, it avoids the real issue while the voting scenario is easily forseen. Hire an expert in the dead of summer to render a meaningless decision and then, months later and divorced from all reality, but under the cloak of an expert’s opinion, announce a decision. (No matter how they vote, you can see certain VC members later offering their time worn excuse: “well, gee, its not exactly what I wanted, but the experts told us x,y & Z, so that’s how I reluctantly voted.”)

Please, VC, either stand up like men or women or give it a rest — and if you can’t do the job that needs to be done, step aside now for the good of the community. Or, better yet, let the community decide if you can not. Put the issue on a referendum vote. But, don’t waste any more money on experts when the decision to be made is common sense. Don’t continue to insult us by hiding behind experts and other third parties. You were elected to make decisions and move us forward. Speak your mind, cast your vote — do it and do it now: Hospital town or sleepy village?

Are any of you able to step up to the plate?

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