Board votes 2-1 to hear proposal


A request from Dr. John Anwar, a relative newcomer to Point Roberts, to make a proposal to be the Point Roberts Clinic’s medical provider has some community members concerned that it is a backdoor attempt to replace the current providers, SuperTrack Urgent Care.

Anwar spoke at the hospital district’s monthly meeting in February and told commissioners he would like to submit a proposal to operate the clinic after the contract with the current provider expires and is up for renewal.

District chair Stephen Falk responded by saying that the current contract simply rolls over unless one of the parties indicates they do not want to renew it. He added that if Anwar wanted to submit a proposal at either the March, April or May commissioner meeting, he was free to do so.

SuperTrack Urgent Care principal Dr. Sean Bozorgzadeh raised objections to the process of hearing new proposals, first asking Falk if the board needed to be dissatisfied with the services of the current provider before opening it up for competing bids. Falk replied, “No, not necessarily, we could find it interesting or not interesting and we could mull it over.”

Bozorgzadeh pointed out that the contract has an assigned process by which either SuperTrack or the commission has to state by June 30 that they want to cancel the contract. “Vendors shouldn’t be presenting proposals before that’s been done,” he said.

In fact, Washington state law sets out the manner by which hospital districts are required to receive bids for goods or services over $75,000. RCW 70.44.140 states that such services must be by contract and shall be solicited by publishing a notice and any such bid should be accompanied by a security “in the form of a certified check, cashier’s check, postal money order, or surety bond made payable to the order of the commission, for a sum not less than five percent of the amount of the bid, and no bid shall be considered unless accompanied by such bid proposal security.”

Falk argued that Anwar was a member of the public and that anyone had the right to come before the commission to speak.

“If the commissioners decide there is something really appealing then they would presumably give notice at some time before the end of June about not renewing the contract and to put out the RFP to solicit vendors and to let the community know,” Falk said.

As it turned out, Anwar did not ask to be put on the March agenda even though he had told the commissioners the proposal was ready and it could be presented in March.

The issue came up at the end of the commissioners’ next meeting on March 13. Falk said he wanted to have a discussion “to see if the commission as a group wanted to hear from Dr. Anwar and if it should be placed on the agenda for April’s meeting.” He did not explain if or how he knew that Anwar was prepared to make such a presentation at that time.

Commissioner Noel Newbolt stated that “the proposal came out of left field, the commission didn’t ask for a proposal and I am not in favor of hearing the proposal in April, May or June.” Fellow commissioner Sara Oggel thanked Falk for bringing the matter up and would be in favor of hearing what services Anwar has to offer at either the April or May meeting.


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