The Sequim City Council could be back to full strength by the end of its next meeting as councilors seek to fill Bill Huizinga’s position.
The six current councilors interview five candidates in public, Monday, Oct. 1., at a special meeting starting at 5 p.m. following a 2013 budget presentation.
They may make a decision that night to appoint one of the candidates: Eileen Cummings, Ron Fairclough, Cliff Silliman, Dennis Smith or Genaveve Starr to replace former councilor Huizinga who resigned in August after moving out of the city limits.
He too was appointed to the city council in March 2001, and later elected in 2002, and reelected twice.
The appointed councilor’s term expires Dec. 31, 2013.The city council will discuss the candidates’ answers to questions in executive session before voting in public.
Here are brief interviews with the five candidates in alphabetical order:
Cummings has lived in Sequim for one year after moving from Fairbanks, Alaska, as a semi-retired real estate company owner. She said running for city council seemed like an opportunity to become involved in the community after being elected twice to the Fairbanks borough assembly.
“I have an interest in being part of keeping Sequim a good place to live and retire,” she said.
Topics of interest to her include zoning and water issues.
“I want to make sure development happens in a good way and businesses are promoted and not discouraged,” she said. “It’s a small town but there’s a lot of services here. Growth needs to be more managed than monitored.”
Fairclough has lived in Sequim for 38 years and continues to work as a semi-retired dental technician. He first ran for the city council last year, but voters reelected City Councilor Laura Dubois. If elected, his main goal would be to stop urban sprawl into Clallam County.
“I want to see the city develop a core of growth,” he said.
Silliman, a retired Walmart worker, moved to the area in 1999 from California and into the city in October 2000. His goal is “to pay it back.”
“I grew up old-fashioned and as individuals you have a responsibility to your community,” he said.
Silliman said he wants to represent a base of people not being represented as a father of eight, four still in school, and a former big box store employee.
If elected, he wants to continue to promote the city’s maturity in growth and vibrancy as a community. He served on Sequim Speaks last year and is excited about the new city hall/police station and update to the comprehensive plan.
Smith retired from the U.S. Air Force’s Western Air Defense Sector at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and moved to Sequim 3½ years ago from Lacey. He’s never run for political office before but finds the time is right for him to get involved in the community.
He finds multiple projects in the city of interest such as the new city hall in development and maintaining the city’s infrastructure.
Smith describes himself as a sports person and cited extending the Olympic Discovery Trail through the city as important.
Starr, a Sequim resident for 43 years, said she’s stepping up to fulfill a need.
She retired as an administrative assistant at Peninsula College and said she doesn’t have an agenda for running other than to become involved and help the city.