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Scott to leave health service district board

Though the Upper San Juan Health Service District cancelled its scheduled May 4 election, one board-of-directors seat will soon be vacant.

With just three candidates running for four board positions up for reelection this spring, the district’s designated election official, Dick Babillis, cancelled the planned election and declared Mark Floyd, Neal Townsend and Michelle Visel elected to serve additional four-year terms. All three are currently serving as district board directors.

The director seat now held by Bob Scott, however, will officially be unoccupied as of the district’s regular monthly meeting, May 25. Scott has served effectively on the board since 1994, yet chose not to continue beyond May, in favor of pursuing other community interests.

“It’s been great — an enjoyable experience,” he said in a recent phone interview. “I’ve served with really great people, but it’s time for someone new on there (the board). It was a tough decision, but I think the hospital is in pretty good hands.”

While Scott is leaving the health district board, he will continue community service as time allows.

“I’m now on the CDC (Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation) board and directing what little spare time I have to that. I feel the need to reenergize and focus on economic development. If I had a ton of free time, I’d stay on the health district board, too.”

As owner of a local business, Scott also travels to Denver monthly, in pursuit of formal designation as a Certified Financial Planner. His wife, Lisa, volunteers time with 4H, coaches soccer and basketball at local schools, and serves as director on the Archuleta County Education Center and health district’s Mary Fisher Foundation boards. With all that, the two are actively raising three children.

Though current board chair Neal Townsend recently described Scott as a tremendous asset to the health district board, he respects his decision to move on to other things.

“I told him he couldn’t leave,” Townsend joked, “but I don’t think he’s listening. Bob has done some really big things (for the district), not the least of which was helping us get the bond for the hospital. His Wall Street experience was most helpful through that.”

When asked how the district will go about replacing Scott, Townsend said the district will publicly announce his departure at its May meeting, then solicit interested candidates through advertising. After a reasonable timeframe, the sitting board will interview all applicants and finally select Scott’s replacement.

Townsend thinks the selection process will take about three months, ultimately resulting in a new director who will serve a full four-year term. Once appointed, the director will be eligible to stand for reelection upon completion of his or her initial tenure.

As a seven-member board, director terms are staggered, providing for elections of three or four members every two years.

chuck@pagosasun.com