Following the resignation of Jennifer States in February and death of Ted Miller on April 10, Sequim City Councilors selected two new councilors on Monday night.
Following an executive session, councilors chose Sarah Kincaid, 76, a retired office manager and quality control supervisor, and Michael “Mike” Pence, 68, a municipal government employee who retired as a public works director in Missouri.
City councilors voted unanimously for Pence to fill Miller’s seat, and 4-0 for Kincaid to fill States’ seat; Brandon Janisse abstained from the vote with no reason given.
Their terms expire Dec. 31, 2021.
Pence, who moved from Missouri about a year ago, said in a telephone interview it was “a great feeling” being appointed.
“It’s a great opportunity to work with the rest of the city council on common matters,” Pence said.
“My background should totally be of help to the council.”
Kincaid, who moved into the city in July 2015 from Diamond Point Area after about 15 years, said in a telephone interview becoming a city councilor is a “little daunting” but that she’s ready to catch up with city business.
Prior to her appointment, Kincaid ran a write-in campaign in November 2019 general election for States’ seat.
Other candidates for the vacant city council positions included Lowell Rathbun, a retired radio frequency design engineer and active member of the Clallam County Democrats, and Robert “Bob” Sheckler, a retired banker and mortgage broker and former mayor of the City of Des Moines (Wa.).
Kincaid said she sees affordable housing and bringing a hospital to Sequim as some of her priorities for Sequim City Council.
Kincaid said her son has a disability and that finding a home for him in Sequim was difficult. He had to live in Port Angeles because of a lack available, affordable options in Sequim.
She added that bringing a hospital to Sequim is something “we should be looking into, especially with COVID-19.”
Kincaid said, “If we had a problem here, that could have been very bad for us.”
Pence said he seeks continued orderly development in the city going forward.
“We have to have a happy blend of commercial, industrial and residential (development) to make a well-rounded community,” he said.
“I’ve been in cities where development was out of control, and it wasn’t pleasant.”
Pence said Sequim is at a crossroads.
“It could stay the way it is or it can get better,” he said. “There’s a lot of things going on out here that can make a more vibrant community (such as coordinating between groups).
“I also hate to mess with that because it is a unique little town. We can’t stop it from growing, but we want to make sure it grows in an orderly fashion.”
More about the new councilors
Pence said he’s married and has two grown daughters with families of their own.
He has moved to different communities for work, but Pence said moved to the Sequim area by choice.
“This is totally backwards from what I’m used to doing and I like it better,” he said.
In his spare time, Pence and his wife enjoy traveling and looking at wildlife.
Kincaid said she’s been married for 55 years and has two children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
In her spare time, she’s active with the Clallam County Republican Party, including serving as president of the Republican Women of Clallam County and precinct committee officer of her area.
She said she hopes Washington state Republicans hold a state convention in-person rather than online because she was elected to represent Clallam County this year.
Kincaid has also volunteered for the Sequim Lavender Festival and the Sequim-Dungeness Lions’ Crab Feed.
She likes to travel as well, and said if not for COVID-19 she would have returned from a vacation in Hawaii this week.
New deputy mayor
City Councilors also elected Tom Ferrell to fill Miller’s seat as Deputy Mayor through Dec. 31, 2021. Councilors voted 5-1 for Ferrell with Janisse nominating himself and Dennis Smith abstaining.
Ferrell was elected to the City Council in 2019.
For more information about Sequim City Council, call 360-683-4139 or visit www.sequimwa.gov.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.