WhidbeyHealth’s board of commissioners is accepting applications for an upcoming vacancy until Sep. 1.
Nancy Fey, the board secretary, announced her plans to resign last month, effective Sep. 30.
Following a resolution earlier this year, board members no longer represent specific geographic areas on Whidbey Island.
Commissioners act as liaisons between the hospital and the community, according to the 60-page application and information packet. The packet includes hospital by-laws and sample calendars to show when meetings and workshops typically take place, which is always during the day.
The new commissioner would be appointed to the board in the fall of 2022. The new appointee would also need to run and win in the general election in 2023 to retain the commissioner seat through 2025. If the appointed commissioner would like to continue to serve the hospital district, they would then follow the standard election cycle of a six-year term, beginning with the 2025 general election.
During a July 7 meeting, Board President Ron Wallin said he thought the entire board should be involved in the interview process and asked if applicants should be interviewed at a future board meeting.
“I don’t think their interview should be open to the public,” Fey said. “I don’t think that’s appropriate.”
On the other hand, Commissioner Grethe Cammermeyer said it was important to have a process that was transparent to the public and to not look like the commissioners were “cherry picking” the applicants.
The state Open Public Meetings Act specifically states that interviews of candidates for public office and the final action appointing them must be done in public.
Wallin also suggested a representative of the medical staff be present but assured they would not get a vote in choosing the new commissioner.
While Fey thought it was possible that only one person would apply, Commissioner Eric Anderson said they might be “pleasantly surprised” and have a lot of applicants.
Cammermeyer suggested that if an abundance of resumes were received, they could consider expanding the size of the board.
Wallin said this is the time for the people who have complained about the board to “step up” and apply for the position.
Fey said she was concerned that she submitted her resignation almost two months previously and the board was only now discussing the next steps.
Interested parties should send an application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the new commissioner would serve until December 2025. While this is possible, it is not necessarily accurate, as the new commissioner would first have to win the general election in 2023 to retain the seat. We regret the error.