Harrington resigns | Letter

Today I resigned from the Public Hospital District Board,

I first came to the island in 2000 and I have loved it ever since. In recent years, my personal and professional lives have undergone some big changes. As part of that, I’ve decided to move off-island and take on a new challenge as chief marketing officer for a promising technology company.

I was sorry to hear of Bill Williams’ resignation. I can’t imagine working with a more decent, honorable man. His lengthy experience as a hospital administrator was invaluable as was his leadership in helping to secure long-term support for reproductive health services through Planned Parenthood. I also applaud his commitment to working collaboratively with PeaceHealth on a range of issues, including developing a better, more affordable urgent care model.

Bill was also an important ally in working to secure a solid financial base for emergency services. As a former MASH leader, he deeply understood the challenges in delivering emergency services in difficult conditions.

EMS faces many financial challenges and is currently under investigation by the Attorney General’s office. When I took office, I urged strong support for the EMS levy and told many supporters that I would work hard to help resolve the financial and cultural issues that had developed over time and which I believe helped lead to the AG’s inquiry. I believe a public entity should report to the community it serves through its elected officials, which is a view not shared throughout EMS, many of whom believe it’s their right to choose their own boss despite state law that says otherwise.

The AG investigation is serious, but I believe it can be a positive catalyst for change. I’ll be watching the outcome with interest and look forward to a positive resolution.

I want to thank the community for the ongoing support and for helping me to appreciate every day the importance and value of public service — whether in elected office or as a community volunteer.

Monica Harrington

San Juan Island