Five candidates have submitted applications to be considered for a seat on the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District to fill a vacancy resulting from the death last year of incumbent Darnell Turner.
Turner, a well-known community activist, was re-elected to his seat in November after he died in September. His name remained on the ballot because it was too late for it to be removed.
The district, which is funded by a 1 percent property tax, distributes community grants to support health and wellness programs targeted to low-income residents in Pittsburg, Bay Point, Clayton, Clyde and unincorporated Antioch.
Last month, board members voted to fill the vacancy through an appointment process instead of holding a special election. Five candidates, all Pittsburg residents, met the noon Jan. 4 filing deadline to be considered. They are Barbara Blaser, Daniel Borsuk, Carl Coates, Emmanuel Ogunleye and Joe Rubi.
Blaser, who is retired, has more than 30 years working in the mental health field in a nursing career that has included supervisory positions and co-director of training at the University of Chicago's Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. In her application, Blaser wrote she is especially interested in working with "services available to seniors and those without health care resources such as the homeless I see pushing their carts down Railroad Avenue here in Pittsburg."
Borsuk, a former president and trustee with the Contra Costa County Board of Education from 1990 through 2010, has worked in several journalism jobs over the years. In his application, Borsuk wrote that he "can offer my experience as a former public official in promoting health care education among students and parents in the district's service area."
In his application, Coates cited his eight years as diversity coordinator with the Contra Costa Health Services Department from 1997 to 2004. The experience, he wrote in his application, made it possible for him to be an "advocate for and promote effective health-related programs and reduce/eliminate health disparities that especially effect minority adults and children."
Ogunleye is president of Disability Evaluation Services and sits on Pittsburg's community advisory commission.
"The mission of LMCHD to advance solutions to health disparities in the district is a perfect fit for my mantra to avail the disabled with deserved assistance," he wrote in his application.
Rubi, a retired machinist who served on the district from 2000-2004, ran unsuccessfully for one of the district's two open seats in the November election. In his application he wrote that he would "represent the diversity of the community and decrease health disparities."
The candidates will be interviewed by board members at meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at 2311 Loveridge Road in Pittsburg. It's expected that board members will select one of the candidates to fill the vacancy before the board's regular monthly meeting on Jan. 14.
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.
What: Board of directors of Los Medanos Community Healthcare District meeting to interview candidates for board vacancy
When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 7
Where: District office, 2311 Loveridge Road, Pittsburg
Info: 925-432-2200 or www.lmchd.org