Hospital district seeks candidates for board

No one has announced their candidacy for any of the four open seats on the hospital board yet. San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 held a work session before its regular meeting on April 24, and invited interested parties to make themselves known – none did.

“This work session is designed to welcome potential candidates for the [public hospital district] and to give them an introduction in terms of what we do, why we do it and our limitations,” said Commission Chairperson Michael Edwards. “It’s a very complicated job. … It takes you two years to feel at all comfortable as you would like.”

Commissioners and community members at the meeting expressed hope that by the scheduled open house on May 9 will attract more interested parties. The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Frank Wilson Memorial EMS Building.

Filing week for the positions is May 13-17. The terms available include one six-year term, two four-year terms and one two-year term. The only term not open is Anna Lisa Lindstrum’s, who is the board secretary and financial advisor; her term expires in 2023.

EMS/Fire merger update

Three votes went to Rebecca Smith for hospital board representative in the potential EMS and Fire merger steering committee. Board members Lindstrum and Warren Appleton also volunteered for the position.

“I have concerns that the road map that the [Citizen’s Advisory Group researching the possible merger] has laid out for us is not going to be followed,” Lindstrum said. “I think that it’s really important that we include the public in this process and that we follow the steps.”

On April 2, the Citizen’s Advisory Group, which consists of five representatives, presented its recommendation at a joint meeting of the hospital district board and the San Juan County Fire Protection District No. 3 commissioners. The group had created a 117-page document on how to achieve the proposed merger and recommended doing so.

The group was created in April 2018 by the two boards and the town. Each of the three entities selected someone to represent its organization, and two additional at-large members were chosen.

During the April 2 meeting, fire Commissioner Bob Jarman, who had been selected as meeting chairperson, said that it was time to create a steering committee to implement the CAG’s changes and unit the services.

The task force consists of Smith, Fire Chief Norvin Collins, EMS Interim Chief Karl Kuetzing and Duncan Wilson, who is representing the Town of Friday Harbor. The group’s first meeting was April 29.