Florence Civic Leader and First Citizen Passes; Members Seek Board Elections; New Interim CEO for Peace Health

Florence Civic Leader and First Citizen Passes

Iconic long-time civic leader and former Mayor, Wilbur Turnyik passed away on Sunday.  Ternyik moved to Florence at the age of 21.  Originally from Astoria his family lineage traces back to pioneer Solomon Smith and Helen Coboway, daughter of the Clatsop Indian Tribes, Chief Coboway.  Former Siuslaw News editor Bob Serra remembers his first meeting with Ternyik upon arriving in Florence to assume his role at the paper.

“Wilbur he was a kind and good man, he was a big man physically but he was a gentle man in all senses of the word.”

Well respected by state leaders in the world of politics Ternyik was instrumental in extending the jettys and securing funding for ongoing dredging operations on the Siuslaw river.  A member of the United States Marines he received the Purple Heart after being wounded in battle on the island of Okinawa.  Ternyik spent sixteen years on the Florence City Council and several terms as mayor as well as 29 years on the port of Siuslaw Commission.  He and his wife Joyce also served as wildlife rehabilitators.  Serra remembers he and his son taking them an owl that was injured.

“I still have a picture of my son releasing that owl back to nature, he had a big heavy glove on and Wilbur was right next to him seeing the owl off.”

Ternyik received the honor of First Citizen in 1971 he was 92 years old.

Members Seek Board Elections

The Oregon Coast Humane Society is preparing to undergo some major changes with the election of a new board this month.  The department of Justice is overseeing the election and there are currently 13 members of the OCHS that are interested in sitting on the new board.  Liz Grant an attorney with the DOJ is overseeing the process.  Grant says that while 2 members of the board, President Robert Bare and Ed Gervais have stepped down, there are still 4 active board members that are assisting with the process.

“Not everybody has resigned, there are some directors and we are in the process of working with the existing directors to do the membership elections.”

Grant says that when the ballots are returned on April 16th there will be a clean sweep with 7 new board members.

“There are no current board members that are running for a position in the upcoming election.”

Grant says that the prerequisite for running for the board was membership in the OCHS and people were given a timely opportunity to add their membership.

“Partly we wanted to make sure that we didn’t want to discourage anybody who was willing to run for the director position.”

Grant says the DOJ is satisfied with the progress that has been made.

New Interim CEO for Peace Health

Peace Health has announced that it has chosen an interim replacement for its exiting Chief Executive, Rand O’leary.  Oleary announced last month that he would be leaving as the hospital’s head administrator.  They have chosen Joe Mark, currently the director of Wolf Creek Partners Group a firm that focuses on leadership development.  Mark was also previously interim senior vice president and area manager for 2 Kaiser hospitals in California.  Peace Health is currently participating in a nationwide search for a permanent replacement.  This in no way affects the current leadership at Peace Harbor hospital here in Florence.