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SEPTEMBER 29, 1997

Front Page

Evergreen commissioner requested to resign

  'Sour grapes,' says McClintick
   by Andrew Walgamott
   TOTEM LAKE--Two Evergreen Hospital commissioners called for the resignation of a fellow boardmember who, they allege, currently resides in Arizona. But the commissioner, who was absent during the meeting, later said he was only "house-sitting" there, and that he still lived in the hospital district.
  
   During the Sept. 23 meeting of the public hospital district board, Commissioner Bruce Buckles made a motion that the board request Commissioner Russ McClintick resign his post.
  
   Buckles called the matter a "concern of law" and a "concern of ethics."
   He said it was a "clear fact" that McClintick had moved, providing the board with the absent commissioner's alleged Cottonwood, Arizona address and home phone number, and said a U-Haul had been spotted outside McClintick's Kirkland apartment.
  
   Commissioner Rebecca Hirt seconded the motion, saying she had been troubled by the matter since McClintick told her he was moving during an August 25 meeting. Commissioner Rex Lindquist said that McClintick still lived in the district to which Buckles replied, "I am only going by what he tells me." Commissioner Al DeYoung said McClintick had told him he was taking a month off from his board activities and was returning in October.
  
   McClintick, who is allowed to legally miss three board meetings, has been an Evergreen commissioner for the past 14 years. He was absent during the Sept. 18 study session as well.
  
   When the commissioners asked for legal counsel Phil Carter's interpretation of bylaws, Carter said that to serve as a commissioner, the person must be a resident of the district in question.
   He defined residency as, "generally speaking, where is your usual abode and where do you intend to reside." Carter added that commissioners couldn't have two residences. Buckles said, "Given (McClintick's) statements, I am left to conclude he does not reside in this district."
  
   Lindquist wondered why the issue had been brought up during the meeting, eyeing the lone reporter in the room, and said it should've been brought up during the previous meeting. Hirt said there wasn't a motive for presenting the issue at that moment. "I could be quiet. I could let this pass. But I don't think this serves the community anymore," Hirt said.
  
   Hirt and Buckles wanted McClintick to resign as soon as possible so the public could vote on his successor in the November elections. Both expressed concerns about public accountability as well.
   McClintick has been considering resigning from the board.
  
   A vote on the motion to request McClintick's resignation failed, two votes against two votes. Buckles and Hirt voting for the request, and DeYoung and Lindquist voting against. A third yes was needed.
  
   So where is McClintick?
  
   Attempts to reach him at his Kirkland-area apartment by phone proved fruitless as a recording stated the number had been disconnected. But he was reached in Arizona where he said he was "house-sitting for his fiancee." He said he had moved out of his Bridal Trails apartment, but had some gear at his son's apartment, a fact his son, Russ McClintick, Jr. , a Kirkland firefighter, confirmed.
  
   The elder McClintick called Hirt and Buckles' motion "sour grapes," linking it to a "power struggle" within the board. The commissioners are debating on which two of them will represent Evergreen in the proposed partnership with Swedish Hospital in Seattle. The board chose Chairman DeYoung at its August meeting, though a vote on Lindquist was tabled after protest from Hirt and Buckles. The two Evergreen commissioners will join four from Swedish in choosing three at-large community representatives to round out a nine-member governing board. Since 1972, Evergreen has been a tax-payer supported hospital.
  
   McClintick said he would be attending upcoming board meetings, and would decide whether or not to resign soon. "I haven't made up my mind yet," he said on the matter.