The Small Point Bulletin is written and published by Victor Riley and Shannon Tomsen. In 2005, Shannon led the public vote to transition the local clinic from a grant-supported clinic to a taxing district, the Point Roberts Hospital District. Vic was one of the founding commissioners.
In 2016, Shannon became a local Fire Commissioner. The local Hospital District rents space from the Fire District. She discovered a number of problems between the districts that needed resolution so she called the Superintendent of the Hospital District with a simple solution. That did not resolve the problems so she attended a Hospital District meeting. There, she quickly saw financial, structural governing, and oversight issues within the Hospital District that concerned her but she let those concerns go. Attending the meeting also did not resolve the problems so the Superintendent was invited to a private, closed door meeting to find resolutions to the issues.
All contact Shannon initiated with the Hospital District was done in private by phone or email. That cannot be said for the Hospital District. One of the funniest things was in February 2017, the All Point Bulletin published an article saying the Hospital District wanted better communication with the Fire District. The Fire District learned of this from the paper, not from the Hospital District!
After a contentious couple of months, Shannon asked for the cost of a sign the Hospital District was put up for its provider. The Superintendent first refused to say and then said she would divulge it at their next meeting. So, Shannon made a public records request for that amount and other things, like a budget, meeting minutes, emails from their provider regarding the sign. It turned out to be $7,500 — of taxpayer money!
That did not sit well with the Point’s public records requester in chief, the publisher of the All Point Bulletin, who then engaged in a year-long campaign against her. When Shannon started to pursue issues in the Hospital District as a founder and a taxpayer, he used the public’s goodwill toward the district to try to discredit her. We think it’s because she called him petty once, because how can you criticize the person who also helped ensure we had curbside garbage and recycling pickup?
We started The Small Point Bulletin in order to correct the record and make people aware of how the All Point Bulletin reflects the publisher’s agendas and fails to fully inform the community. We focus on that district partly because of our history with it, partly because of our interest in the continuation of the clinic, and partly to shine a light on these issues and force the district to improve before we lose the clinic because of them.
A little bit about Vic Riley. He has a BArch in Architecture from U of Arizona and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from U of Minnesota. He is one of the top experts internationally in aviation Human Factors and holds numerous patents. He was trained on piano since the age of 4 and continues to play several instruments.
A little bit about Shannon Tomsen. She is a high school drop-out who has BAs in Art History and Psychology from the U of Minnesota. She has a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law where she was honored to receive the prized Minnesota Justice Foundation law student award. Among other work, they recognized her as a volunteer guardian ad litem (advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children) for the Minnesota juvenile and family court systems. It was there she honed her dislike for bullies and liars.
Q. What is Point Roberts?
Point Roberts is a small community attached to the bottom of British Columbia south of Vancouver, separated from the US mainland. It’s small and beautiful like a rose, but like a rose, it has a few pricks.
Q. What is The Small Point Bulletin?
It’s an alternative take on Point Roberts news and an attempt to correct the record that appears in the other local newspaper, the All Point Bulletin.
Q. Why do you keep fixating on the Point Roberts Hospital District?
A. See above.
Q. What’s that weird caterpillar mascot thing?
It’s not a caterpillar - it’s a grub.
Q. Sheesh. Why do you have such an ugly mascot?
All the cute ones were taken.
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