City hires engineer, reorganizes planning leadership position

The City of Sequim has added to its leadership team and realigned some duties.

In recent weeks, staff announced the hiring of Nicholas Dostie as Sequim’s new city engineer and deputy works director, and that deputy city manager, Charisse Deschenes, will also take on the duties and title of the city’s director of community development and economic development.

Deschenes started to serve in both positions starting Feb. 13, according to Emily Stednick, the City of Sequim’s human resources director.

“The recent announcement for Charisse Deschenes’ position was the result of a reorganization, combining those two positions to utilize our internal talent and streamline work processes,” Stednick said.

She said no other positions have been changed by the reorganization and one full-time position remains open in the city manager’s office that they may fill later on. The city is currently budgeted for 92.27 full-time equivalent staffers.

Deschenes started with the city in 2014 as Senior Planner, and she’s served as Assistant to the City Manager, Assistant City Manager and Interim City Manager. She was a candidate for the then-vacant City Manager position following the firing of Charlie Bush in 2021, and served as interim City Manager prior to the hiring of current city manager Matt Huish.

“I am excited to see Charisse in this new role as she brings a wealth of both academic and professional experience to the table that the City of Sequim, both businesses and residents, will benefit from,” Huish said in a press release.

“Charisse will lead a high performing team that is fully engaged and prepared to embrace the Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review, implementation of a new software platform, and updating the [Sequim Municipal Code], while working with City Council and regional entities on housing matters.”

Deschenes became director of Community Development and Economic Development following the retirement of Barry Berezowsky in June 7, 2022, after he worked for the city five years, and his replacement Steve Lachnicht left the city at the end of 2022.

Prior to the reorganization, Deschenes salary was $119,600, and it’s been increased to $130,000 with the reorganization, Stednick said.

According to the city, Deschenes is a graduate of the Northwest Women’s Leadership Academy, Leadership International City County Management Association (ICMA), and the Senior Executive Institute, and has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. In 2021, she was awarded the Washington City/County Management Association Outstanding Assistant Award for Under 10K Population.

Deschenes holds a Bachelor’s degree in Parks and Resource Management, a Master’s degree in Business Administration, and has studied in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program.

City engineer

Dostie was hired on Jan. 3 and was one of five candidates, Stednick said.

He succeeds Don Ctibor, who worked in the role from Nov. 17, 2021-Sept. 30, 2022.

“Nick is known for his great work ethic, can-do approach, and always positive attitude,” Sequim Public Works Director Sarah VanAusdle said in a press release.

“Nick has worked on design, construction, and inspection for almost every aspect of Clallam County Public Works from trails, water, sewer, bridges, budget, capital facilities planning, and roads … The City is very fortunate to have Nick on our team.”

According to city staff, Dostie graduated from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and is a certified bridge program manager, leader, and inspector.

He worked five years with a local private engineering firm, and then five years for Clallam County in design and project management, including serving as the project engineer and lead inspector for the new Sequim-Dungeness Way/Woodcock Road roundabout.

As of press time, the City of Sequim currently has five vacancies. Get more information at