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Clark named to North Whidbey Park and Recreation District board

Lori Clark and Ron Rhinehart talk with audience members during a North Whidbey Park and Recreation District meeting. Clark was appointed to the board and she will replace Rhinehart.  - Nathan Whalen / Whidbey News-Times
Lori Clark and Ron Rhinehart talk with audience members during a North Whidbey Park and Recreation District meeting. Clark was appointed to the board and she will replace Rhinehart.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen / Whidbey News-Times

The North Whidbey Park and Recreation District board named a new commissioner Thursday night.

The board appointed Lori Clark to join the five-member panel of elected officials. She will replace Ron Rhinehart, who is resigning because he is taking a job on the East Coast.

Clark was one of four people competing for the position to fill Rhinehart’s term that expires at the end of 2013. In addition to Clark, Justina Baldwin, Allan McDougall and Bob Wilson applied for the position. Clark, Baldwin and McDougall were interviewed Thursday evening during a public meeting. Wilson wasn’t able to attend.

Clark, who works as a watershed planner for Island County, has two children who are active in park and recreation district programs. She said she became interested in the district during the promotion of the levy last year. That’s when she, along with other people, learned the taxpayer-supported district oversees the pool.

She said she can help provide the commissioners a balanced approach, which is what the public wants to see.

“The park and recreation district is a valuable asset and I want to protect it,” Clark said during the meeting.

Baldwin, who retired from the Navy, has children who have participated in swim programs and as lifeguards.

Commissioner Harvey Prosser questioned whether having a relative work for the pool would be a conflict of interest for Baldwin. He was also concerned about having too many board members who are also active in the swim program.

McDougall, who recently completed a term on the park board, threw his hat into the ring for Rhinehart’s seat. He said his experience in governance would be a benefit to the board but he was wary about serving another term.

“I hope I don’t get it. You have a lot of messes you’re dealing with,” McDougall said. “I will do a good job if you want me to.”

The commissioners briefly interviewed the candidates in the public session. The commissioners asked them why they applied, what qualities they would bring to the board and whether they could recuse themselves should a conflict of interest arise.

The commissioners adjourned into executive session to evaluate the candidates before approving Clark’s appointment during open session.

 

She was appointed on a three-to-one vote. Commissioners Dennis Jepsen, Harvey Prosser and Sean Merrill voted for Clark, while Scott Vogt, who was participating via telephone, voted against her. Rhinehart

recused himself from the vote.

 

Despite Clark’s appointment, Vogt wanted a vote on the other two candidates; however, no commissioner would second that motion.

Clark will be sworn in during a meeting in May.

 

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