On June 22, following the June Hospital District meeting, we sent the following letter to outgoing Superintendent Elaine Komusi:
Point Roberts Public Hospital District 2030 Benson Road
Point Roberts, WA 98281
June 22, 2018
Dear Mrs. Komusi:
In line with RCW 7.96, we demand that you correct a number of statements that you made about us in 2018. You have made similar statements about us in 2017 and in other 2018 meetings but it was after your statements at the June 14, 2018 Hospital District meeting that we knew we could no longer sit idly by while you ruin our reputations as you depart your position as a public official.
1.) At the District’s March 1, 2018, 7:00 pm regular meeting at the Point Roberts Community Center you stated the following about us.
“Um, as you know my position is contracted to work eight hours a week and recently my time as superintendent has been spent more on reacting to situations, defending, following up on useless details, and in time spent strategizing how to minimize the [a.] damage created against the hospital district, clinic, and Unity Care [sic] reputation [b.] by a very few individuals whose sole purpose is to undermine the success of the clinic.
“In a community this close, reputation is everything, and [c.] these people have done everything that they can to create doubt, spread untruths, and spend their time trying to point out the things they consider that we’re doing wrong. [d.] There’s [sic] two people who sit at every meeting with cameras and recording devices taking notes and trying to intimidate us and they fail to intimidate us.”
Statement [a.] combined with statement [d.]falsely states as fact that we have intended to damage the Hospital District, Clinic, and Unity Care’s reputations. Statement [c.] falsely states as fact that we have intended to create doubt and that we have spread untruths. These statements have led people to doubt our true intentions, believe we have done or said things that have been harmful to both organizations, believe that we are reckless, or that we are vindictive. Further, since you have not listed how it is that we have damaged reputations or what untruths we have spread, you have left it to the listener’s imagination to come up with these things on their own.
We have published public records from Unity Care and the Hospital District. We have published transcripts from Hospital District meetings recordings. We have carefully interpreted records and recordings when the District has refused to communicate with us. It is false to say that us using the District’s own words and documents means we have intended to damage their reputation.
The statement that we were out to undermine the Clinic [b.] damages us because it undermines our credibility in lobbying for what we think is best. Further, our comments are about the commissioners, not the clinic.
One of the most damaging ramifications of these statements to us was immediate and will continue to be in the event Unity Care follows through with its threat. At that meeting, Shanon Hardie, stated: “But I’m telling ya, you can only take so much. And it’s really that it’s only a few people that are impacting that. So I’m here to say, it’s been two years of - it’s actually been a lot longer than that. But two years of it getting progressively worse. And I’m not going to continue to do that with our staff, and I’m not going to continue to do that with our organization. Things must change. If they do not change, we will leave. I need to be very clear about that. I’ve not said it before that clearly, I’m being very clear tonight because I’m not going to do that any more.” So, instead of looking at the District’s finances and the public survey results from 2017-2018, people will blame us if and when Unity Care decides to leave Point Roberts.
Other people listening to you at the meeting, those reading District meeting minutes, those reading the copy of your resignation letter that you gave to Pat Grubb, and those reading the article Pat Grubb published about your statements could easily come to the wrong conclusions about us.
Ironically, you emphasize the importance of reputation “in a community this close,” then go on to falsely impugn our motives. This demonstrates a clear intent to damage our reputations by using these false claims. Adam Rozyskie’s physical and verbal intimidation of Shannon caught on video at your April meeting is also result of the damage done.
2.) At the District’s June 14, 2018, 7:00 pm regular meeting at the Point Roberts Community Center you stated the following about us.
“Um, the other, the other thing I wanted to bring up is around the survey, just talking about your survey that you do and we did ours back in, starting back in November, um, it was also on the list, um, for this public records request. [e.] So we all knew that request was going to come that these two people were going to put their hat in the ring to get a copy of those, um, those, that data and that has come true.”
[f.1] “...and unfortunately there’s some pretty harsh, negative feedback and what will (stated emphatically) happen is that it will (stated emphatically) end up on the small point bulletin and that will do us damage and we have to be prepared for that and I don’t know what you guys are going to do to get out ahead of that. It’s very unfortunate, ah, [f.2] it’s damaging people, it’s damaging reputations and I am very worried about how it will be posted there along with any assumptions that are made relating to that feedback. [g.1] Um, I think that when we put the survey out there the expectation from the public was that it would be private. Certainly if I was participating in a community survey my expectation would be that, that survey data was, was private and confidential. [g.2] So personally, I actually feel very sorry for the public that we’ve done that to their, their comments. I think that, I think that if we’re going to do a community survey again I think we need to take that into account, the balance, um either we disclose right out of the gate before you answer this survey [g.3] you need to know it can be made public in any forum that someone so choses to make it public. Um, and then we see what kind of response we get.”
Statement [e.] is the set up for statements [g.1-3]. Together, they imply that we suggested the public survey in hopes that people would submit derogatory comments about clinic staff and then we would publish those statements on our website to harm staff’s reputation(s). All of that is false. We asked for the survey results because they had not been released for months and there was no evidence they were being used address the drop in utilization.
Statements [f.1 and f.2]] explicitly state as fact that what will happen is we will publish the statements on our website and that it is damaging people and reputations. These statements are false and illogical. How does Mrs. Komusi know what we will or will not do? And how can something we have not done and have never had any intention of doing damage people or reputations?
These six statements, singularly or as a whole, are particularly outrage and egregious. They will be catastrophic to our reputations because they are ascribing motives and intentions to us that we did not and do not possess. People will doubt our intentions, our credibility will be ruined, and our reputations for telling the truth will be called into question. People will be angry with us and feel “duped” by us. If we had such horrible motives about the survey, no one would ever believe us again about anything. And finally, we are being set up for being blamed for Unity Care leaving Point Roberts (see above and Shanon Hardie’s comment below).
For the impact of these statements, it is clear that others in the room believed everything Mrs. Komusi said. Again, Shanon Hardie:
“You’re never going to make everybody happy and so that’s what I told the staff is that this is going to be hurtful if that happens and I am sorry for that because also when we were talking about doing the survey and it was suggested here I was in support of it because I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to see if there are things we could do as an organization differently to provide service better to the community, um, and that’s what I really hoped the goal was and but to do this, that that tells me it wasn’t the intent....
“...and I feel a little bit duped (Elaine Komusi audibly agrees) because I feel like it was done intentionally to point fingers (Elaine Komusi audibly agrees) um and that is not healthy....
“So, I will say, you know, from our perspective, um, I, I don’t think we’d be supportive of something like that again too (Elaine Komusi audibly agrees). And you know, as you spoke, you know, when you were resigning, I spoke too and I will say that will be a contributing factor to something (indecipherable), to be honest (Elaine Komusi audibly agrees) because the staff’s already been punished enough. I’m not going to continue to ... (indecipherable) (Elaine Komusi audibly agrees) so, people should know that (Elaine Komusi audibly agrees) ok.”
These false statements and implications may have already been conveyed to people outside of the meeting. Anyone reading the District’s minutes will also come to the wrong conclusion about us.
Please have a representative of the District contact us with your response as outlined in RCW 7.96.
Shannon Tomsen and Victor Riley