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Sequim City Council selects new member
Smith, a Sequim resident for 3½ years, won the spot on Monday, Oct. 1, with a nomination by Councilor Don Hall and yes votes from Hall, Erik Erichsen, Ted Miller and Candace Pratt.
Councilor Laura Dubois and Hays voted for Eileen Cummings, a semi-retired real estate company owner from Fairbanks, Alaska. Miller nominated Genaveve Starr, a retired Peninsula College administrative assistant, but she was not considered past the first round of votes. Ron Fairclough also interviewed.
Councilors adjourned to a 30-minute executive session after the interviews before returning to vote.
After the meeting, Smith said, “It's an honor and privilege,” to be appointed and his first goal is to attack the upcoming budget.
When asked about Sequim's problems, Smith said, “One of the biggest problems Sequim has, and there's not much we can do much about, is the economy.”
“It's not allowing for a lot of growth,” he said.
When working with growth, Smith said what's necessary is encouragement to bring in more businesses. He sees Fred Meyer potentially coming in as an asset.
He also pinpoints traffic downtown as an issue for residents: He has been told people don't drive downtown because it's a mess.
“I know what traffic is moving here from the Olympia area and I came up here to avoid that,” he said. “It's not really a traffic problem but it is for a lot of people.”
To bridge communications between the city and residents, he suggested starting town hall meetings and using volunteers more.
Smith will be sworn in at the city council meeting on Monday, Oct. 8, and serves the rest of the term through Dec. 31, 2013. At this point, he envisions himself running for re-election.
Former candidate Cliff Silliman applied for the vacant seat, but was disqualified last week after he learned, due to a clerical error, he doesn't live within the city limits.
Silliman said his neighborhood was incorporated onto city water and around the same time he began receiving city ballots a few years ago.
City Attorney Craig Ritchie said Silliman assumed he was a city resident because he voted on city issues and received city garbage service, but after speaking with Clallam County officials, Ritchie learned Silliman was on the cusp of the city limits and not paying city taxes.
“My property line is one foot out of the city limits. My next door neighbor is in the city limits. My street is in city limits including where my mailbox sits, but my physical house is in the county,” Silliman said.
If his address were annexed into the city, Silliman said at the soonest no councilors would be up for election until 2015.