To start 2020, Sequim has a new mayor.
City councilors elected salon owner William Armacost on Jan. 13 to lead meetings for the next two years.
Fellow councilor Brandon Janisse nominated him while former mayor Dennis Smith nominated himself, and Jennifer States nominated new city councilor Tom Ferrell, who thanked her but declined the nomination.
Armacost, appointed to city council in 2018 and reelected in 2019, won 5-2, with States and Smith voting for the former mayor.
“We’ve often heard the expression, ‘The right person at the right time’; well, I’m it,” Armacost said.
He said at age 65 he shares many of the same morals and beliefs as Sequim residents, and he’s run successful businesses for his 35 years here.
Through his experience, Armacost said he has a “pulse of the needs for business owners and employees.”
He also cited his experience working with alcoholics and drug addicts for 16-plus years as “invaluable” with the high interest around the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s proposed medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic.
“There’s no one sitting on this side of the counter who understands the struggle, the fear and the tragedy that affects the families and individuals,” Armacost said. “I have that understanding.”
By owning a beauty salon, he said, he has become a good listener and holds an accurate idea of what the community feels, and said he’s based many decisions on the feedback he receives from the community daily.
Smith, appointed in 2012 to council and reelected multiple times, served as mayor for two terms from 2016-2017 and 2018-2019.
While advocating for the mayor’s seat, Smith said he brings experience and availability.
“No other mayor in history of city has seen anything like (contention) nor has the council,” he said. “I feel I’ve dealt with it in a very professional manner.
Multiple city councilors said they appreciate Smith’s efforts and service, but said they felt the position should have a rotation of officials.
“I commend Mayor Smith for an extraordinary job,” councilor Ted Miller said. “I don’t think anyone has done it better or more enthusiastically. I feel the position should be rotated, so we can see how inferior they are.”
Armacost said Smith did “an amazing job, but we’ve often heard, that politicians are like babies, you need to change them. The more fresh set of eyes we can get, the better.”
Miller was elected deputy mayor 6-1, with States nominating and voting for Smith.
Recently elected city councilors were sworn into office as well, including Armacost, Ferrell, States and Troy Tenneson.
The Sequim City Council meets next on Monday, Jan. 27, at the Sequim Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St. For more information, call 360-683-4139.