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ELECTIONS 2013: Hats in rings
Candidates have tossed their hats into the ring for more than two dozen offices that are up for grabs this fall in Clallam County.
In most cases, the candidates are running unopposed, including a substantial number of incumbents.
In two elections there are no candidates at all.
County Auditor Patty Rosand said because no one had signed up to run for Fire District 1, Commissioner No. 4 or Fire District 6, Commissioner No. 1, filing for those positions will remain open through today, May 22.
Port Angeles Port Commission
Perhaps the most interesting race pits Paul McHugh, the sitting port commissioner for District 1, against Colleen McAleer, the port’s director of business development. In addition, Del DelaBarre, a longtime Clallam County business owner, has tossed his hat into the ring.
McHugh has a long history of public service. He served as a Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center commissioner from 1993-2001, the Clallam County Planning Commission from 1992-1996 and the City of Sequim City Council from 2001-2008.
He was appointed to his current position in 2011 following the resignation of Jim McEntire, who left to take a seat on the Clallam County Commission.
McHugh said he’s still unsure why McAleer decided to run, but that he’s anticipating learning more about her motivation in the coming weeks. He also noted that if she’s successful, she’ll be required to leave her current “very prominent” position.
“It will be an interesting discussion,” he said.
McHugh said he’s running because there’s more work to be done, including selling the Pen-Ply site and working on the various cleanups in and around the port. He added that he’s very interested in pursuing the ongoing effort to create living-wage jobs.
McAleer said she feels “compelled to run” for two reasons.
“I know there are untapped business opportunities that exist today that our port and our community should be pursuing. I want to support that at a policy level.”
She said she’d also like to work with the other commissioners to foster a culture change that allows for “respectful, open communications” that will bring together community partners.
She moved to Sequim in 2002 and joined her brother and father at Sequim Real Estate with Team McAleer. While there she pursued her “passion for commercial real estate,” which put her in contact with “lots of business owners that I saw struggling through the decline of the economy. I wanted to make a difference for our community. The best way to do that was by working for the port, the lead agency for economic development in our county.”
She took the position as director of business development for the port a year and a half ago. Now she wants to step up.
McAleer said she’s willing to take a shot at the position, even though it makes her current position tenuous. She says she’s ready to start up her own business — “a woman-owned, veteran-owned business” that would take advantage of government opportunities that are currently going un-utilized. “Then I could personally create jobs,” she said.
Management consultant DelaBarre said after 25 years in business, he and his wife, Sharon, “are stepping back a bit.”
He said he believes his background in technology transfer will provide an added bounce to the port’s efforts to build the local economy.
“The port commission position isn’t about politics, it’s about business,” he said. “My skill set might be able to help.”
DelaBarre has been involved in numerous public organizations, including serving as chairman of the Workforce Development Council and the Private Industry Council. He has served as secretary/treasurer of the Washington Association of Private Industry Councils, as a director of the Clallam Economic Development Council and the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce and as a governor of the Peninsula College Foundation.
Clallam County Hospital District No. 2
Commissioner District No. 1, Position 1:
John Beitzel is running unopposed for re-election.
Commissioner District No. 1, Position 2:
Tom Oblak was selected to the board of commissioners in March 2012 to fill a seat following the death of board member Arlene Engel. He’s running unopposed for election.
Commission District No. 2, Position 2:
Jean Hordyk has served on the board of commissioners since 1994; she also is an OMC auxiliary volunteer. She participated on the North Olympic Health Planning Council from its formation to conclusion and was a charter board member for the Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County and the Clallam County Home Health Advisory Board. Hordyk served as the director of the Port Angeles Senior Service Center for 33 years.
Heather Jeffers has worked at Olympic Avamere Rehabilitation in Sequim for nine years and currently serves as its administrator. She said that experience provides her with a strong background to bring to the position. “I’m running because I feel I have a lot to offer,” she said.
Her community involvement includes founding the Olympic Peninsula Health Fair.
She said the health industry faces a great many challenges. “I want to learn more and be more involved,” she said.
City of Sequim City Council
Council Position No. 3
Incumbent Ted Miller said his primary focus on the council is to move the city government away from a “good old boys club” of developers to a citizen-friendly staff. In addition to improving the road system, Miller wants to promote and expand community volunteering, maintain impact fees on developers and promote openness in the city government.
While he understands that developer impact fees can hinder city growth, he believes that overall they are better for developers by giving them a known, fixed cost when building, and also allows them to lower the costs if they find a more efficient method to achieve the same goals.
Miller also believes that Sequim’s senior citizens are an enormous resource that can provide jobs in service and medical fields.
Brandon Janisse said he’s running because he believes the city can handle itself better regarding small businesses and young families. He also thinks that his opponent, incumbent Ted Miller, has shown his bias against small business in the community.
“The city council is too set in the status quo,” Janisse said. He said recent events led him to believe that the current council is too conservative regarding city growth and councilors’ hesitance hurts small businesses in the area.
Janisse, 28, also hopes to help make the city more attractive to younger families by offering more entertainment. “There needs to be more options available for younger generations, for kindergarteners up to young adults.”
Janisse is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006 and was honorably discharged from the Army in 2007. He received an Associate of Arts for Political Science from Peninsula College in 2012.
Council Position No. 4
Incumbent Dennis Smith is running unopposed.
Council Position No. 5
Incumbent Genaveve Starr is running unopposed.
Sequim School District
Director District No. 2
Michael Howe is the likely winner of the seat. He initially had two opponents, but Craig Stevenson withdrew. The other candidate, John Clark Yeo, lived outside of district lines and is now running for the at-large position.
Incumbent Virginia O’Neil chose not to run.
Howe, the executive communication coordinator for Clallam PUD, has three school-aged children in the district. “We moved here because of the quality schools here,” he said, adding that he wants to play a role in ensuring the district’s future. “The biggest issue is funding,” he said.
He said he’s also concerned about the future of the United States. “A quality education for youth is what’s going to ensure a prosperous future as a whole.”
Howe holds a master’s degree in political science.
Director at Large, Position No. 4
Incumbent Bev Horan will face a challenger for the first time. She said she’s excited about where Sequim schools are now and where they’re going.
“I think we’re doing an incredible job and I want to be part of the next term because I think we’re building on the things that need to be looked at,” she said.
Horan said she’s most proud of seeing the district move forward with more student-focused learning.
“It’s the individual learner that’s most important,” she said. “How does that individual learner, learn it? How can we best work with what we have? I’ve seen incredible growth in our staff. That’s really exciting for me.”
John Clark Yeo, originally a candidate for the District 2 seat, refiled for the at-large position held by incumbent Horan. He said he felt a call to public service.
Among the issues he’s interested in is the impact of legalizing marijuana on school students.
Yeo arrived on the peninsula in September 2005 after retiring from a career in teaching.
He now keeps busy with community projects, including performing in productions at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse and singing for three years in the Trinity United Methodist Church choir. He was elected to the Sequim Senior Activity Center board of directors and chaired the organization’s annual benefit sale for four years.
He holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland and an MFA from New York University.
Fire District 3
Commissioner No. 3
James D. Barnfather is running for re-election. In addition to his “successful” six-year term, he points to his 30-plus years in the Seattle Fire Department to underscore his qualifications. “Public safety, fire protection and efficient district management will always be a No. 1 priority for me.”
Charles Perdomo also touts his extensive background in public safety, saying he’s served in emergency medical services, judicial administration, as a corrections officer and as a commissioned police officer, all in Dade County, Fla.
He recently retired as a fire lieutenant from the fifth largest fire department in the nation, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department.
“I strongly feel that my extensive experience in public safety can offer the Clallam County Fire District 3 community a fresh and new perspective on optimizing the already great fire service that Fire District 3 offers.”
Sean Ryan points to his long-time commitment to Clallam County, where he has lived for the past 18 years. He is a business owner and a five-year volunteer with Clallam Fire District 3. “ I’m running to serve the people of Clallam County and this is where I think I can make the most difference.”
Ryan added that he confirmed that with a vote of the commission he can continue to serve as a volunteer. “If I couldn’t be a volunteer, I didn’t want to be a commissioner.”
Park/Recreation District 1 (SARC)
Commission Position No. 1
Sherry Nagel is unopposed for the position.
Commission Position No. 2
Frank Pickering is running for the seat he now holds on the commission. Pickering, a recent appointee to the position, said he’s enjoyed his work. “I think the board is focused in the right direction. It’s focused on how we can better serve the patrons.”
Pickering, an engineer by training, retired from a successful career in industrial composites. He’s been a member of SARC for four years.
“SARC is a key part of our community. We need to be communicating better — we need to better inform the public what SARC can do for them.”
Adam Sullivan says SARC needs to better communicate its purpose. “There’s a big misnomer that it’s a government-funded entity. It’s not.”
He noted that all of SARC’s income is provided by the paying patrons. “We need to make that difference known to the public because at some time we may need to go to the public for a levy or bond measure.”
He said with his 30 years experience in senior management and consulting, he has the requisite experience and expertise to help lead SARC to a sustainable future — and to put into place a few needed capital improvements
“It’s essential that we have an aquatic center for health and fitness,” he said.
Water District Sunland
Jim Larison, an incumbent, is running again for Commissioner Position 1.