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Two Sequim council incumbents to seek re-election in November

Two of Sequim's three incumbent city councilors will run for re-election this fall, but Paul McHugh has decided he and his wife, Rochelle, will spend the summer traveling instead of campaigning.

Candidate filing for local, statewide and legislative races runs from 8:30 a.m. June 1 through 4:30 p.m. June 5 at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St.

Filings are accepted by mail if received no sooner than two weeks before the filing period begins and no later than the last day of filing.

This year's election is the first since four new councilors - Laura Dubois, Erik Erichsen, Ken Hays and Susan Lorenzen - swept into office in November 2007.

Sequim City Council positions up for election this year are 1, 2 and 3, held by Bill Huizinga, Walt Schubert and McHugh, respectively. The filing fee is $18.

Councilors serve four-year terms. Huizinga said he is running because of what he termed "unfinished business."

"That's basically it.

There's a couple of things I want to finish up if I can, affordable housing and some zoning such as the sub-area plan," he said.

At its April 27 meeting, consultant Tom Beckwith presented a report concluding that the city must increase its supply of affordable housing to maintain its quality of life.

The sub-area plan aims to increase density in the city's core, providing both housing and economic opportunities.

But the council hasn't dealt with the issue since June 2008.

Schubert said he decided to run in part because Huizinga decided to run and in part because "things must be done and need to change."

"And I don't see changing with the four new members," he said.

"I've been on been the

council for 10 years, six years as mayor. So I think understand the system pretty well and the concerns and wants of the people and I don't think they are being met," Schubert said.

Young families and other segments of the community deserve to be brought into the circle, because Sequim is not just a wealthy senior community, he said.

"I'm still very concerned about how the Bill Elliott situation was handled. So I want to stay on and be part of selecting new city manager.

"The additional costs due to the Elliott firing are well over $300,000 and there's no end in sight until we hire a city manager," Schubert said.

In May 2008, the council voted 4-1 to fire city manager Bill Elliott. Schubert left before the vote, McHugh voted "no," and Huizinga was absent.

Police Chief Robert Spinks served as interim city manager until Linda Herzog was hired in December 2008. In April 2009, the council hired the executive search firm Waldron and Co. of Seattle to find a new city manager by mid-September. Currently, the city manager position is vacant.

As for McHugh, he said he decided not to run because he has done plenty of public service, not just on the Sequim City Council, and there were other things he would like to do.

"I really enjoyed my time on council, no question about that," he said.

"But I've been thinking for some time that this term would be my last one. I wasn't sure until the last couple of weeks.

"My feeling that in my first years on the council we accomplished a great deal. I look back on that with satisfaction.

"It's time for someone else to take my place. My wife and I have travel plans and would have to be put on hold, and we're not prepared to do that."

Several other positions will appear on this fall's ballot:

_ Sequim School District: Seats up for election on the five-person board are Position 2, held by Virginia O'Neil; Position 3, formerly held by the late June Robinson; and the at-large position held by Bev Horan.

_ Clallam County Fire District 3: The only seat up for election on the three-person board is Position 1 held by Gary Coffey.

_ Sequim Aquatic and Recreation Center: Board members Susan Sorensen's Position 1 seat and Bob Macaulay's Position 2 are up for election.

_ Olympic Medical Center: Five of seven positions will be on this fall's ballot: the District 1, Position 2 seat by Arlene Engel; the District 2, Position 1 seat held by John Nutter; the District 3 Position 1 seat held by Jim Cammack; the at-large seat held by Jim Leskinovitch, who has announced he will seek re-election; and the District 3 Position 2 seat that just opened with the resignation of Gary Smith.

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