Massena Memorial CEO won't give regular privatization updates to town board as transfer negotiations continue
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 9:13 am

By ANDY GARDNER

MASSENA — The Massena Memorial Hospital CEO will no longer give regular updates on the hospital’s privatization process at monthly Town Council meetings.

The town board and the MMH board are negotiating an asset transfer deal to determine how the town will be compensated for its asset once MMH privatizes.

“We need to not negotiate in public and have a raft of public discussion,” Town Supervisor Joe Gray said. “I don’t see the need to have [MMH CEO] Bob Wolleben here every month.

“He says the same thing here he says at the hospital board meeting. I don’t see the purpose of him being here every month … it’s almost always reported in the media.”

He said Wolleben would be called in if board members were to request an update.

Gray and Councilman Steve O’Shaughnessy usually attend MMH Board of Managers monthly meetings.

In addition to the asset transfer, the hospital is waiting for their 501c3 application from the IRS, and trying to pick an affiliate.

Wolleben earlier this year at a town board meeting said he hoped at the MMH meeting the following week, but it didn’t happen. That was in February. The only updates he has given in public is they are looking at two potential affiliates, one in eastern New York and one in the western part of the state.

Gray implied that MMH officials may have whittled that number down to one.

“They’ve been talking with one entity, but that hasn’t really progressed other than the very early stages of contact,” he said Wednesday. “A lot of stuff I can’t go into detail because we couldn’t, public session, and I’m not going to do that.”

The MMH board meets Monday at 4 p.m. in the hospital’s second floor boardroom.