Jennifer States collects herself on Feb. 24 at the Sequim city council meeting before reading her resignation letter. States said she was resigning to pursue a promotion in maritime sustainability and innovation projects in the state and across the globe. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Jennifer States collects herself on Feb. 24 at the Sequim city council meeting before reading her resignation letter. States said she was resigning to pursue a promotion in maritime sustainability and innovation projects in the state and across the globe. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Sequim City councilor States resigns to pursue work promotion

A seat is open on the Sequim city council after the resignation of Jennifer States last week.

States shared a written letter at her last city council meeting on Monday after Mayor William Armacost read a resolution honoring her service.

She said “it is with a heavy heart that (she) submitted my resignation.”

In an interview, States said she was promoted to a director position with her company DNV GL and must move to Seattle due to the level of travel she must do.

“(The promotion) is an opportunity to work on maritime sustainability and innovation projects for Washington state through Washington Maritime Blue (a new nonprofit) and globally through my company,” she said.

States said consideration for the move has been an evolving process as her level of time traveling to Seattle, and across the US and internationally steadily grew in the past year.

When she was appointed to city council on Jan. 8, 2018, States said she felt she had more time. She was elected to her position last November.

But now, States said she must travel almost weekly to Seattle making her duties serving city council and related committees untenable

Work decision

States met some contention in the past year related to the proposed medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic as she was asked to recuse herself from votes related to the facility because her business Wind Rose Cellars, which she co-owns with her husband David Volmut, does business with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.

Sequim’s attorney Kristina Nelson-Gross said state law shows there is not a conflict of interest, and Volmut said the only wine he’s sold to the tribe is for a Habitat for Humanity fundraiser and what isn’t used is sold by the tribe.

States said there are a lot of factors in her life resulting in her decision mostly related to work and travel.

“If those circumstance hadn’t been in place, I would gladly continued to serve,” she said. “It is a hard choice. I’m not really wanting to walk away.”

States said Volmut will continue operate Wind Rose Cellars as usual and she hopes the community will continue to support it.

“I think it is another way we’ve been able to have an impact in the community,” she said. “I’ve received a lot of comments about the wine bar, whether they drink wine or not, that it’s a community gathering place.”

She and Volmut moved to Sequim in 2011.

Sequim City Manager Charlie Bush said States’ thoughtful and balanced approach was an asset to decision-making on the council and will be hard to replace.

“I have really enjoyed working with Jennifer over the past two years,” Bush said.

Impact

In the future, States said she hopes to serve the public wherever she goes and come back as often as possible.

“What drives me is impact with the environment and economy,” she said. “With my new position at my company, it really is a chance for global impact.”

She said one of her previous efforts was helping Washington State Ferries strategize more ecologically-friendly travel and when they started their goal was transitioning three vessels to hybrid-electric power and by the time they finished the goal was changed to add all vessels.

States said she’s looking to have the kind of impact opportunity again with more types of vessels.

During her time with the city council, States said she was driven by her passion for a sustainable future through collaboration, such as working with Clallam County PUD on a solar array and electric vehicle charging station, and the Civic Center rooftop solar project with the Department of Commerce.

In her resignation letter, States said she hopes another “highly capable woman will step up and be appointed to this position” because they “have an opportunity to bring balance, reason, and thoughtful collaboration to fill this seat.”

All applicants to the city must be registered voters of the City of Sequim, have a one-year continuous period of residence in the City of Sequim and hold no other public office or employment under the city government. Sequim city councilors will conduct interviews on March 23 depending on the number of applicants.

For more information, visit the Civic Center at 152 W. Cedar St., call 360-683-4139, or visit www.sequimwa.gov.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

City council vacancy

To be considered for the vacancy Sequim city council seat, applications are due by 4 p.m. Friday, March 13.

Sequim city council will interview candidates on Monday, March 23, in the Sequim Civic Center, 152 West Cedar St.

The appointed person serves until Dec. 31, 2021, with a salary of $250 per month.

• Applicants must be registered voters of the City of Sequim, have a one year continuous period of residence in the City of Sequim, and hold no other public office or employment under the city government.

For more information, visit the Sequim Civic Center, call City Clerk Sara McMillon at 360-681-3428 or visit www.sequimwa.gov.

• Candidates must submit a letter of interest, resume and completed application form with answers to supplemental questions to the City Clerk at smcmillon@sequimwa.gov or by regular mail at the Civic Center address.

• Positions are also open the Sequim Planning Commission and Parks, Arbor and Recreation Board.

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