Sequim City Clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese swears in new city councilor William Armacost, 63, on July 23, after he was appointed by Sequim City Councilors to fill the vacant seat of Pam Leonard-Ray. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Sequim City Clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese swears in new city councilor William Armacost, 63, on July 23, after he was appointed by Sequim City Councilors to fill the vacant seat of Pam Leonard-Ray. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Sequim City Council selects salon owner Armacost as newest member

For the second time this year, Sequim City Councilors appointed a new member.

William Armacost, 63, was selected at Monday’s City Council meeting from four candidates, including Ron Fairclough, Tom Ferrell and Richard Fleck, to fill the vacant city council position left by Pam Leonard-Ray.

Leonard-Ray resigned in May to move to Carson City, Nev., to help her parents.

Armacost will serve Leonard-Ray’s term through Dec. 31, 2019.

“Quite frankly, I feel like it’s a time in my life that I need to give back,” Armacost, owner of Changes Salon & Spa, said in an interview.

He’s lived in Sequim for 34 years, the past six in the City of Sequim.

“I’ve been blessed to raise my family here and I’ve had multiple businesses that have been successful (in my career),” he said.

Armacost is now the fourth current city councilor to start their service as appointees joining Mayor Dennis Smith (2012), Bob Lake (2016), and Jennifer States (2018). States replaced John Miller in January, after Miller died in November 2017.

City Councilor Brandon Janisse nominated Armacost, who received four of five city councilors’ votes, with Ted Miller nominating and voting for Ferrell. Lake was excused from the meeting. Both Fairclough and Fleck applied for John Miller’s position in January, too.

City councilors interviewed the candidates for about 30 minutes before going into executive session and returning to the council chambers to make nominations.

About the new councilor

Armacost moved to Sequim from New York City where he served as a spokesperson for Revlon, worked at various hair shows for various companies, owned a hair studio and worked and traveled with the fashion industry.

In Sequim, he served on the Sequim Irrigation Festival’s Pageant Board and helped provide contestants a speech coach, organized the Boys & Girls Clubs Auction, taught karate at the club through the Olympic Peninsula Karate Association, and helped create a fundraiser for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Armacost said he also provided low-cost hair cut options for low-income families.

One issue Armacost said he feels city councilors should address is affordable housing, and that even some of his employees experienced difficulty in finding housing here, too.

In his pre-interview sheet, he said the city should “address the lack of housing choices from young adults to our retired members of the community.”

The city has a housing study underway investigating housing options in Sequim.

Armacost said change is inevitable in Sequim because the city brings in people of all walks of life and from all over the country but there’s a “movement in to the city to embrace, good positive change.”

He told city councilors one of his best attributes is that he’s a great listener, thanks to his line of work.

In his pre-interview sheet, he said he’d like to nurture people being heard and helping them become engaged.

Among his other talking points, Armacost said he’d like to expand Sequim’s small-town feel while preserving its natural assets, help find a way to diminish crime and vagrancy, and encourage business growth with higher paying jobs.

When asked, Armacost said he did not have any conflict of interests in serving on city council, and he can change his schedule when needed for special meetings and events if needed.

“The opportunity for being a team player is something I look forward to,” Armacost said.

William Armacost, on left at table, interviews with fellow candidates Ron Fairclough, Tom Ferrell, and Richard Fleck on July 23 for the vacant Sequim City Council position. Armacost, a salon owner, was chosen and said affordable housing is a top priority for him. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

William Armacost, on left at table, interviews with fellow candidates Ron Fairclough, Tom Ferrell, and Richard Fleck on July 23 for the vacant Sequim City Council position. Armacost, a salon owner, was chosen and said affordable housing is a top priority for him. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

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