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Sequim begins 2008 with four new city councilors

On election night the message was clear, Sequim voters wanted new faces in city management starting in 2008.

Newcomers Susan Lorenzen, Ken Hays, Laura Dubois and Erik Erichsen were successful in their bids to become part of the Sequim City Council.

Outgoing councilor John Beitzel opted to run unopposed for hospital commissioner rather than run for re-election. Hays, a local architect, won Beitzel's seat despite a late write-in candidacy from former planning commissioner Marge Williams.

Dubois and Lorenzen finished with commanding leads over incumbents Ron Farquhar and Don Hall for their seats on the council. Erichsen won former councilor Bob Anundson's appointed position by a slightly narrower margin.

The four newcomers ran together under a platform of "intelligent growth." When the four began running separate campaigns for council positions, they realized they shared some of the same views, such as infrastructure concurrency, maintaining a small-town atmosphere and taking public comment seriously.

Erichsen joined the council early, catching one meeting as the elected successor to former councilor Patricia Kasovia-Schmidt. Erichsen's difference in opinion from the standing council was evident after he cast the sole votes against nearly everything the ruling body passed at the Dec. 10 meeting.

While city residents overwhelmingly wanted change in Sequim management, voters in each of the city's six precincts said they wanted Clallam County management to stay on course.

Taking more than 58 percent of the vote, Steve Tharinger, D-Dungeness, won a third term as Clallam County commissioner despite a late bid from Sequim Republican Bob Forde.

Forde ran promising a smaller, leaner government that still provided core services, with special emphasis on property rights protections. Tharinger said his intentions for a third term included continued natural resource protection, effectively supporting behavioral health treatment and completing the Carlsborg sewer project.

In 2007 the county commissioners approved the creation of a third Superior Court judge position. Candidates for the elected position only showed up on the primary ballot, however. Port Angeles attorney Brooke Taylor took more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary, effectively taking the position early from challengers Brent Basden, Craig Miller and Curtis Johnson.

In other races, Sarah Bedinger won a second term on the Sequim school board, defeating challenger Stuart

McColl, and Annette Kuss succeeded in her bid for the Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center board over challenger Jan Richardson.

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