By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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Matt Ready, a Jefferson Healthcare employee, plans to run for hospital commissioner, while entrepreneur Peter Quinn has set his sights on a port commission seat.
Candidates are required to file for office between May 13-17.
If more than two candidates file for a specific office, the top two vote-getters in the Aug. 6 primary will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.
Quinn, 59, lives in Beckett Point and is seeking the District 2 seat now held by Dave Thompson.
Thompson cannot run for re-election without moving because redistricting moved district boundaries, and he now lives in District 1.
Quinn is running for an open seat with no other declared candidates.
He is the executive director of Team Jefferson and a co-owner of The Writers' Workshoppe in Port Townsend; he also serves as the CEO of Quimper Mercantile, which is a volunteer position.
“Ports operate as supporters of economic growth in the communities they serve,” Quinn said.
“My background in business management, startups and as a person already involved in economic development in the county will serve me well as District 2's port commissioner.”
Quinn said economic growth is a tool for self-sufficiency and conscious living, and added that the next five years are crucial and full of opportunity for Jefferson County.
“I already work in economic development and have a capacity for doing this type of thing,” Quinn said.
“I grew up in a maritime community and am experienced in building maritime infrastructure, which is what the port does.”
Quinn, who moved to Beckett Point in 2006, has published a book of poetry, Painting Circles on Straight Highways.
Port commissioners serve for four years and Jefferson Healthcare commissioners for six-year terms.
Ready, a performance-improvement specialist at Jefferson Healthcare, wants to find a way to ensure that all get health care.
“The [federal] Affordable Care Act doesn't go far enough,” Ready said.
“There are statistics that 15 percent of people in Jefferson County did not get health care last year because of its cost,” he added.
“It's important that we treat anyone who needs health care whether they can afford it or not.”
Ready said that he'd like to start a program similar to Healthy San Francisco, which makes health care available to uninsured residents, offering primary and preventive services to those who cannot afford them.
Ready proposes channelling some of the hospital's profits into the program.
“We are in a unique situation in Jefferson County, as one hospital provides 90 percent of the services,” he said.
“We can take the lead in providing affordable care and use some of the hospital's $4 million annual profit to treat people who don't have insurance.”
Ready, 39, has lived in Port Townsend since 1995 and has worked for the hospital since that time.
If he is elected to the board, he will be required to quit his job, a compromise he said he is willing to make.
This year, two of the five commissioners, Jill Buhler and Mark Mauney, are up for re-election. Both said Tuesday they intend to run again.
All positions are at large, with candidates choosing which candidates to oppose.
Ready said he has decided who he will oppose but will not make that decision public until filing day.
“The health care system has been a mess for about 50 years,” Ready said.
“We don't need incremental change; what is needed is a radical breakthrough.”
Aside from two vacancies each on the port and Jefferson Healthcare boards, there are 44 positions open in Jefferson County this year.
PT City Council
This includes positions on the City Council now held by Catharine Robinson, Mark Welch and Michelle Sandoval.
All three said in early April that they had not made up their minds whether to run and have declined any further comment.
No other candidates have come forward, though Port Townsend resident Todd Wexman said in April that he was involved in an effort to run “a slate of candidates” in the election.
Jack Range, who narrowly lost in 2011 to present Councilwoman Deborah Stinson, said he decided not to run this year.
“I would have liked to have won two years ago, but I'm now in a position where I have responsibilities with family and work,” Range said.
“When I ran before, I didn't realize that City Council is a tremendous time commitment.”
Pamela Adams, who filed for a City Council race in 2011 but was disqualified because she did not meet the one-year residency requirement, said she would like to run but will not challenge any of the incumbents.
“I think they are doing an incredible job under difficult circumstances. I will not run if they do,” Adams said.
“I'll have my filing paperwork ready to go, and if I learn they aren't going to run, I'll file for the open seat.”
City Council seats are at large, with any city resident able to run for any opening, though they must declare for a specific seat.
“I'm OK to wait,” Adams said. “I know this is how the game is played.”
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.