Without consultation or notice, SUNY today issued a press release announcing that the respondents to its rigged RFP process will be given the opportunity to modify their proposals. Make no mistake about it: SUNY has acted unilaterally with no forewarning, let alone consultation, to community stakeholders. They have made this announcement on a night when the nation’s and the city’s attention will be devoted to President Obama’s State of the Union address.
SUNY has not reopened its RFP process: it has simply given its favored parties an opportunity to make their condo proposals look less repugnant. We affirm the words of our counsel Jim Walden of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher: “By acting unilaterally, SUNY assures only one thing: the Community will fight until hell freezes over, and then we will fight it out on the ice.”
SUNY is still explicitly steering the RFP respondents away from hospitals and towards outcomes that are not hospitals. Witness the parameters suggested by SUNY today in its letter to the RFP respondents:
“some form of comprehensive health care at the LICH campus, including perhaps an off-campus hospital emergency department and/or a federally qualified health center or other clinic providing substantially the same services for self·pay or low pay patients”.
Since there were no hospital operators among the respondents in the original rigged process, there will be none now.
How can the process be called “reopened” when SUNY narrows the scope of acceptable responses and utterly disregards community input?
The six community groups, with the support of our elected officials, submitted a proposal for a reformed RFP process to SUNY. Despite negotiations, SUNY has chosen to ignore our good faith offer and has acted in bad faith by releasing its unilateral plan to the press before the community and the elected officials.
There is only one word for SUNY’s actions today: contempt.