PHD Board continues rush to adopt contract, will meet Oct. 21 and 23

San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 will hold another Special Meeting at 10:30 a.m. Monday, October 21, 2019 in the Frank Wilson Memorial EMS Building, 1079 Spring Street in Friday Harbor. The purpose of the meeting is to finish reviewing the proposed Interlocal Agreement between EMS and Fire and review SJIEMS budgets. The latest draft of the Interlocal Agreement was posted Saturday, October 19 on the PHD website

The PHD Board met October 4 and 16 to discuss the draft contract that turns administration of San Juan Island EMS over to San Juan Island Fire & Rescue Department. A previous draft had Fire Chief Norvin Collins serving as CEO of SJ EMS. The latest draft refers to Collins as a contractor rather than CEO. 

Commissioners Dr. Warren Appleton and Anna Lisa Lindstrum have repeatedly asked the three other commissioners  - Dr. J. Michael Edwards, Dr. Mark Schwinge and Rebecca Smith - to stop the rush to adopt the contract. Edwards', Smith's and Appleton's tenure on the board ends once the November 5 election is certified at the end of November. Three new board members will be sworn in then, the fourth new commissioner will take their seat in January replacing Schwinge who chose not to run for re-election. 

Edwards and Smith started working on the contract in the summer with the PHD's attorney without telling the rest of the board. According to Edwards, the reason the three - Schwinge, Edwards and Smith - are so determined to put the contract in place now is because of the experience and expertise of Fire Chief Collins and Fire Commissioner Frank Carvenell. 

Neither are expected to leave the fire department in the foreseeable future. 

The five members of the Citizen's Advisory Committee, who for a year studied the pros and cons of integrating the two separate government agencies, specifically recommended against an interlocal agreement. They noted the boundary issues needed to be dealt with and funding needed to be approved before such an agreement took place. The CAG was adamant that the Fire Commission be increased from three to five members. 

The Fire Commission is not willing to increase its board. 

The draft Interlocal Agreement contract references a subsequent contract. It is not known if Smith and Edwards have been preparing that one also. 

On Wednesday, October 23 the PHD Board will hold its regular monthly meeting at 3 p.m. in the Frank Wilson EMS building. Schwinge, Edwards and Smith plan to vote to adopt the contract at that time. 

The Fire Commission has to also adopt the agreement.

The San Juan Island Fire District commisioners are holding a Special Meeting with their attorney, Joseph Quinn at 4 p.m. Wednesday, October 23 at the Washington Fire Commissioners Association Conference in Tulalip Resort in Tulalip to discuss the topic of Integration with San Juan Island EMS.


3 p.m.

AGENDA APPROVAL: October 23, 2019

Regular Meeting Agenda


• September 25, 2019 Regular Meeting Minutes

• October 4, 2019 Special Meeting Minutes

• October 14, 2019 Special Meeting Minutes

• October 16, 2019 Special Meeting Minutes

• October 21, 2019 Special Meeting Minutes

• SJCPHD #1 Warrant Approval

• SJIEMS Warrant Approval

SJCPHD#1 OPERATIONS REPORT: Pamela Hutchins, Superintendent

• Financial Report

• Operations Update


• Financial Report

• Operations Update

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION (15 Minute Limit total; comments max 3 minutes per person)


• SJCPHD#1 2020 Budget

• SJIEMS 2020 Budget


• Committee Reports

• Scheduled Update Review of 3rd Amendment to PIMC Subsidy Agreement

• Res 19-512 Two-touch Rule for Major Contracts

• Interlocal Agreement between Fire and EMS


• None


1 comment

  • John Geyman
    John Geyman Monday, 21 October 2019 08:36 Comment Link

    There is no rush to decide about the proposed merger between Fire and EMS. This major decision should await evaluation by the incoming Hospital District board.
    John Geyman M.D.


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