Councilors give city manager high marks and a pay raise

City of Sequim agrees to temporary lease with Little League

After nearly six months on the job, Sequim city councilors seem to like their new city manager.

On Monday, Feb. 8, they unanimously approved 6-0 with Candace Pratt absent, a pay increase for Charlie Bush, who succeeded former City Manager Steve Burkett in August 2015.

The decision follows Bush’s performance review in executive session on Feb. 6 where he received a rating of 8.7 out of 10.

Mayor Dennis Smith said they recognize Bush is early into his tenure and there are things they will be able to better evaluate through a full budget cycle.

“But we are very pleased with the level of communication we have with Charlie and how well his empowering management style has been received by staff,” Smith said.

For his performance, Bush receives a 1.5 percent pay increase or $1,800 more a year on top of his $120,000 base salary.

City staff say this is the same amount received as other non-represented employees.

Bush was acknowledged for his weekly updates to the city council and his efforts to bring community partners together. However, city councilors said they want to prioritize reducing property crime rates and be more sensitive to local perceptions.

New City Councilor Bob Lake said he’s “very pleased with Charlie’s performance today” while fellow City Councilor Ted Miller said Bush “has done an incredibly good job so far … we’re very thankful he’s our city manager.”

Bush told city councilors he’s thankful for the opportunity to work in Sequim.

Little League agreement

City councilors unanimously approved an interim agreement with the Sequim Little League on Feb. 8 to continue using the Dr. James F. Standard Memorial Youth Athletic Park off Silberhorn Road through the end of the year. They also retroactively approved contracts from 2011-2015.

City Attorney Craig Ritchie said they’ve had trouble getting a long-term agreement done over the years due to volunteer attrition in the program with institutional knowledge about legal matters so they’ve continued a temporary agreement.

Ritchie said the Little league purchased property northeast of the park that is outside of the Urban Growth Area so city staff created a new temporary lease agreement to continue providing utilities.

City Parks manager Joe Irvin said the interim contract through Dec. 31 allows them to have more conversations about proposing a better system for providing services.

Janet Gray, a volunteer with the Little League, said the league’s board of advisers is looking for a more symbiotic relationship that benefits the city and Little League. She said they hope to have more things in writing such as the level of care at the park expected.

Dr. Standard Park is outside of the city limits and the property was donated by Maurice and Frances Sherk in 1975. The agreement continues that with the city providing utilities, Little League volunteers will maintain the park.

Lake said the agreement is one of the ways the city is able to have fewer employees because the Little League does all the maintenance.

“The city benefits from this partnership,” he said.

Opening day for Sequim Little League is April 16.

Signs approved

A new opportunity is available to nonprofits looking to get their name out there as drivers enter the City of Sequim. Two new kiosks built by a Boy Scout will host up to nine logos for voluntary nonprofit, non-political, non-commercial organizations with the primary goal of providing services that directly benefit the citizens of Sequim said City Clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese.

City councilors unanimously approved the resolution on Feb. 8 to allow logos to go up on the kiosks at the end of the sidewalk on West Washington Street prior to the roundabout and on Simdars Road as vehicles come off of U.S. Highway 101.

City staff said there aren’t specific membership requirements for eligible organizations and that religious organizations are eligible, too.

Each organization is limited to one logo and a lottery will be held to determine selected spots if more than 18 nonprofits apply.

Ted Miller suggested having a third sign board constructed on Sequim Avenue’s entrance to town if the level of interest is high enough.

Each sign would cost a one-time fee of $50 for each logo and nonprofits have 30 days to apply to Kuznek-Reese by calling 683-4139.

Reach Matthew Nash at