Saturday, December 11, 2010

Med Mart Thoughts

Recently, I read in a Bloomberg article that Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, was quoted as saying this about the Med Mart planned for Cleveland:

“What’s the worst thing that could happen if this fails?” he said. “You have a brand new building and a new convention center. So the downside isn’t too bad.”

This strikes me as complete hubris related to his brainchild. What we get it is an empty new building and 20 years of taxes to pay for a failure.

Note, I am not against the Medical Mart per se. In fact, I like the idea of trying to leverage the Clinic's and University Hospital's expertise in the Medical industry. It's one industry that while it may have ups and downs, you can't export it to a different country.

What bothers me about the plan for the Med Mart and convention center is that there appear to be no plans b and c in case our competitors, Nashville and New York City pound us(Cleveland) in the market place. It seems an awful large burden to place on Cuyahoga County residents with no safety net if it fails to generate the business that they claim.

Now the reality the problem isn't Toby Cosgrove since he simply is pushing for what he thinks is a good idea. My problem comes in with the stewardship of Tim Hagan. He and Dimora (Peter Lawson voted against it I gather) have put all the eggs in the med mart basket with zero risk management or planning in the case it doesn't work. I've heard Tim on the radio a couple of times and I actually kind of like him (the mark of a professional politician), but in this particular instance he has not done the job.

Regardless, now that we are down the path and too far to back out, I'd like to see the Med Mart/Convention center succeed. But I'd also like to see some alternate planning and ideas.

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