Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Carilion's Involvement: Finally Some Understanding
This morning a Roanoke daily newspaper finally has a story detailing Carilion's lack of interest in a three-acre piece of property on South Jefferson Street, quoting a post that appeared in this blog Nov. 25 as a source. In that piece, Carilion CFO Nancy Agee said bluntly that the health care organization had no interest in developing the property.
It wasn't the first time somebody from Carilion had made that assertion, but it may well have been the first time somebody listened (WDBJ had a similar story on during last night's newscast and even had the professional courtesy to say that I work for Valley Business FRONT magazine. The local daily called us "a regional business magazine," not mentioning that we compete with its own business magazine).
The paper consistently refers to documents from 2000--before the current administration at Carilion was in place (Ed Murphy was appointed CEO in 2001)--as being relevant to what is taking place today. Today's piece quoted neither Agee nor Murphy. In 2000, Carilion was being told by Roanoke City Manager Darlene Burcham that its housing authority would acquire the property and consultant Brian Wishneff, who worked on contract for Carilion as a consultant, said Carilion needed the land. Consultant later became a Roanoke city councilman.
There seems to be great surprise across the land at this development, which is not a development (so to speak) at all. A lack of interest in developing the small piece of property has been Carilion's position for some time, but almost nobody listened when that was stated. There also seemed to be a misunderstanding of what Agee meant in this passage: "... she was opposed to the condemnation of the property and had requested it be dropped." The request was not official because Agee has no official standing in the suit. She had simply expressed her opinion as an observer.
I think that what we can take away from this is simple: Carilion is not involved in this lawsuit and its interest in the outcome is only marginal. The land in question is hard against Carilion's development of the large and important Riverside Center, but is not necessary to any current needs. If the land becomes available at a market price, Carilion might bid. It also might not.
One would hope that references in the future to the court case would not be led with Carilion's part in the process, since it doesn't have one and hasn't for some time.