Braddock Mayor John Fetterman has a lot of nerve and is shedding crocodile tears ("Clemency for a Hospital Killer: UPMC and Other Big Nonprofits Should Remain Tax-Exempt," April 14 Forum). The closure of Braddock's only hospital, UPMC Braddock, came under his watch and with his acquiescence. He never took part in the broad Braddock and Mon Valley movement to save the hospital and indeed worked with then-County Executive Dan Onorato and the county board to approve the UPMC closure and demolition. For truth, interested people should see Tony Buba's documentary, "We Are Alive! The Fight to Save Braddock Hospital."
Mr. Fetterman seems to think that it is fine for profit-making corporations that do some worthwhile things to be classified, willy-nilly, as nonprofits that should pay no taxes and not be held accountable in any way. Is he a stalking horse for Pittsburgh's nonprofits (not only UPMC but our universities, too) to avoid all fiscal responsibility to the citizens in our region? No one has said that UPMC's Children's Hospital is not a valuable institution; nor has anyone said that the Pittsburgh Promise is a bad idea. But that is not the issue. Surely, genuine nonprofits do and will continue to do good deeds in the future.
Is UPMC a nonprofit? The evidence that it is not is overwhelming. Do genuine nonprofits threaten to leave their cities when their status is challenged? Will Pittsburgh become a devastated Detroit if UPMC or Carnegie Mellon or some other nonprofit does not have its way? Nonsense. Does the public have no rights? Shame on you, Mayor Fetterman!
Upper St. Clair