Sequim City Manager Charlie Bush addresses fellow leaders at the Emergency Contingency Center (ECC) three days before he was reinstated as permanent city manager by Sequim City Council on March 23. He planned to resign by April 17 to climb the Appalachian Trail but the COVID-19 pandemic led him to reassess his decision. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Sequim City Manager Charlie Bush addresses fellow leaders at the Emergency Contingency Center (ECC) three days before he was reinstated as permanent city manager by Sequim City Council on March 23. He planned to resign by April 17 to climb the Appalachian Trail but the COVID-19 pandemic led him to reassess his decision. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Sequim City Council reinstates City Manager

Bush postpones plans to climb Appalachian Trail

A little more than a month and one pandemic later, outgoing City Manager Charlie Bush was reinstated in his position on March 23 after announcing his decision on Feb. 10 to resign and climb the Appalachian Trail.

Bush’s last day would have been April 17, with Assistant City Manager Charisse Deschenes to serve as interim city manager the next day.

Following an executive session, Sequim City Councilors voted 5-0 in favor; councilor Troy Tenneson abstained from the vote.

“I am thankful for the support of the Sequim City Council in making it possible for me to continue on with the city,” Bush said in a press release.

“I look forward to continuing to serve the community especially during these difficult times.”

At Monday’s city council meeting he gave a brief update about the city activating the Emergency Contingency Center (ECC) in the Sequim Transit Center before moving it to the Guy Cole Event Center.

City staff also established a utility relief fund during the COVID-19 crisis, continue to work mostly from home and provide information via press releases, social media, the city’s website and on kiosks and A-frame signs.

“It’s going to be a long-term disaster,” Bush said. “We have the initial virus, and its recovery we’re all going to experience together.”

Mayor William Armacost said he feels fortunate the city will “benefit from Charlie’s leadership during this challenging time in our community.”

Bush said he has no personal timeline or plans right now.

“My only focus right now is to work on this response for the city and do my best job for the city,” he said.

The possibility to do a longer hike down the road may happen, Bush said, but it’s not set for any particular year, and he would talk to the City Council about any plans first.Bush’s contract remains the same with no end date, city staff said Tuesday.

Plans

In February, Bush said his decision was based on multiple things including the recent loss of his father. This spring and summer he planned to hike the Appalachian Trail.

However, he’s following guidelines not to hike the trail in 2020.

Bush began working for Sequim on Aug. 15, 2015.

Deschenes, who was prepared to take on the interim city manager role, had been in discussions for a new contract, but said she is happy about Bush retaining his position.

“I am elated that he is willing to stay in the role of City Manager,” she said in a press release. “He continues to be an amazing asset to the City of Sequim, a mentor to myself and to many in the organization.”

For more information about the City of Sequim, 152 W. Cedar St., visit www.sequimwa.gov or call 360-683-4139.

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