For the second time in a month, the Point Roberts Hospital District has seen the departure of a valued and experienced key member. Speaking at the district’s regular meeting on April 4, Robin Nault told the board, “It is with much regret that I officially resign from my position as commissioner.”
Just last month, superintendent Elaine Komusi announced her intention to resign. She agreed to stay on until a successor was hired for her position.
Nault explained that she had received Canadian residency status sooner than she had expected and consequently would no longer satisfy residency requirements to be a commissioner. Nault’s husband is Canadian and the two will live in Tsawwassen.
“I recognize the timing is not ideal. Hiring a new superintendent as well as appointing a commissioner is a lot of change in a short period of time,” Nault said. “I wish to assure [the district] and the public of my continued support of the district,” she said, adding she would still attend the district’s meetings. Nault plans to maintain her residence and full-time hair styling business on the Point.
Nault expressed gratitude to those who had voted for her and said she stood behind each and every decision she had made while serving as commissioner. “It is my opinion that our continued partnership with Unity Care NW is vital to the success of the Point Roberts clinic. Lastly, I want to express my gratitude and respect to all the individuals and the different groups working in a positive way to make Point Roberts a better place to live,” she concluded.
As they did following Komusi’s resignation, the board praised Nault’s contributions and work on behalf of the district. Komusi told the board that she would post the opening as soon as possible. The district has already posted the superintendent’s position on its website (bit.ly/2JoeWE4). The job is part-time and entails approximately 8 hours a week. The closing date for applications was Friday, April 13.
“Are you threatening me?”
The start of the meeting was prefaced by a bizarre conversation which began when Adam Rosyskie entered the room. Rosykie strolled over to where Shannon Tomsen was sitting and asked, “How’s the lawyer wannabe today?” Tomsen replied, “Excuse me? Wow, that’s kind of threatening. Are you threatening me?”
“Threatening you? For what? I asked you how you were,” Rosykie answered. “No, you said how’s the lawyer wannabe. That seems kind of like you’re trying to intimidate me or something,” Tomsen responded. “No, never,” said Rosykie to which Tomsen replied, dubiously, “Uh, huh.”
In fact, Tomsen does have a legal background having attended what’s now called the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. The school is unranked by the U.S. News and World Report on best law schools in the U.S.; the majority of its student body attends part-time at night and on weekends. Tomsen is not a member of the Washington state Bar Association.
The board appears to have grown tired of perpetual critics Shannon Tomsen and her husband Victor Riley and have begun sticking to its five-minute limit for individual public comments. The two had been the subjects of a withering denunciation by Komusi in her resignation announcement in March (see bit.ly/2q6DQjI). Among other things, Komusi said, “These people have done everything they can to create doubt, spread untruths, and spend their time trying to point out the things they consider we are doing wrong.”
Chair Dick Williams reminded the audience of the time limit at the opening of the public comment period; Riley wanted to know the details of a conversation between nurse practitioner Natalie Davidson and fire chief Christopher Carleton that took place a number of years ago and managed to clock in under five minutes. Following, his wife was first stymied by the fact that she hadn’t signed up on the comment sheet but grudgingly agreed to do so after being reminded about the district’s policy.
Referring to property tax revenue, she asked, “The budget for 2018 is $255,000; is that the maximum tax revenue you believe you can get at your current rate?” Assured that it was, Tomsen then asked who decides which categories will take the hit if there was a shortfall in revenue. The board and superintendent appeared somewhat mystified by the question as property tax revenue is virtually guaranteed to be distributed to taxing districts.
Six minutes in, Tomsen’s “Just one final thing…” was stopped mid-sentence by Nault who told her, “Shannon, we’re done. Done.” Komusi added, “Time’s up.”
(Ed. note: Additional reporting has been included since this story’s original web publish date. Video by S. Tomsen.)