Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Labor Politics and Development

A potent mix which still continues to occupy lawyers, politicians, and judges, while the community builders sit watching the money burn.

New Sutter impact study faces vote
Union fighting hospital project wants council to hold off, saying the revised report was rushed.
By Terri Hardy - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PST Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A revised environmental study of Sutter Medical Center's $560 million midtown expansion plan goes to the Sacramento City Council for approval today as an underlying union battle plays out behind the scenes.

City and hospital officials said the study includes new technical data that support the initial report's findings on traffic, parking and air quality impacts. A judge had ruled that information was necessary for construction to go forward.

"I believe this report shores up the defects the judge found," said Councilman Steve Cohn, whose district includes the hospital project. "It's kind of a technical correction, but one the judge felt was important to do."

But the Service Employees International Union, which sued last year saying the report didn't comply with environmental law, now contends the revised study is rushed and critical issues are not addressed.

It wants construction halted and will ask the council to hold off on its approval, said John Borsos, vice president of SEIU's United Healthcare Workers-West.