Last night I pulled myself away from the warmth of the holiday fire to City Hall where the Zoning Board was hearing Overlook Hospital present the latest round of its snore- inducing testimony on the proposed plan to sit a helipad on the roof of the once great community institution.
I arrived just when the hospital's attorney, a central casting Scrooge if I ever saw one, was demonstrating how, if one were to gaze up at the sky from eighteen different identified points in the city, the observer would barely see the large red inflated balloons that his engineers had mounted on the hospital roof. His point being, no one would even see that little bitty helipad, anyway.
Well, one of the many neighbors who showed up worrying that maybe a helicopter rotor might wind up sticking out of her roof someday, asked a very simple question. How did the hospital attorney (a former Overlook Hospital board president) determine the eighteen locations from which the balloon gazing would take place. No problem.....he proclaimed the eighteen locations were residences owned by Summit citizens who had registered concerns over the possibility that they might see the helipad, not to mention a bunch of large red inflated balloons, from their front porches.
Now, here is where some fun punched a hole in the dull proceedings. The attorney representing the growing number of concerned neighbors asked a simple question. Did the hospital engineers, or anyone else from the hospital for that matter, actually talk to any of those eighteen supposedly concerned residents? You guessed it, not even one. "Humbug", muttered the Overlook attorney recognizing that his credibility (and that of the once great community hospital) was cast into question.
While all of this was going on nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers were down the street at the hospital saving lives, healing the sick and showing us where the real credibility in this story is.
Let's hope the Grinch doesn't win this holiday season.