Seven residents vie for open city council seat

Former mayor Ferrell resigned in March after being reelected

Over the next two weeks, seven City of Sequim residents will interview for the vacant city council seat (position 7) left by former mayor Tom Ferrell, following his resignation in March.

Applicants include Kelly Burger, Ron Fairclough, Alex Fane, Nicole Hartman, Jean Janis, William Stone and John Worthington.

Current city councilors agreed on March 25 to conduct separate, scheduled interviews with the candidates starting at 4 p.m. Monday, April 8, and Monday, April 15, in public sessions.

An executive work session is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, April 22, to consider the qualifications of the candidates before tentatively selecting someone to start that night on council.

The appointee would serve through certification of the 2025 General Election and receive $368 per month while in office.

To serve Ferrell’s full-term through Dec. 31, 2027, the appointee would need to run again in 2025.

Ferrell was reelected in November 2023 but opted to resign due to work commitments and differing views with the direction of the city council’s efforts, he said.

Councilors agreed on March 25 to ask 10 of 22 suggested questions to each applicant (see below).

Councilor Kathy Downer said she wanted to ask less questions due to the amount of time it would take, but fellow councilors wanted more information as résumés were not required for the application process. Applicants are welcome to bring them at the interview, city staff said.


The Gazette asked the same three questions to candidates over the phone or via email about their occupational background, reasons behind their desire to be on city council, and if there was something specific they wanted readers to know before interviews. Here are their responses:

• Kelly Burger

Background: I have been a stay-at-home parent for the past three years. Before becoming a stay-at-home parent I worked as a sales estimator at Brix Marine in Port Angeles. I have an associate of science degree in marine environmental technology from Florida Keys Community College.

Why apply: I feel that local government is one of the best opportunities to make meaningful impacts and positive changes in our communities. My family loves living in Sequim and I feel that being on the city council would allow me to make those impacts so it will continue being a great place to live not only for my children but for everyone in the community for years to come.

Additionally: I am passionate about improving infrastructure and development of affordable housing in Sequim.

Burger has lived in the city about five-and-a-half years.

• Ron Fairclough

Background: I worked for Boeing, served in the U.S. Army for three years, and moved to Sequim in 1973. I operated a dental lab through the 1990s, and continue to work part-time as a trained dental technician.

Why apply: What I really believe in is there are housing problems, and when I was a younger man in Seattle there was neighborhood housing with the rich and poor, a mix of people. It’s not this idea of building low income housing all in one spot.

Additionally: I’ve had a goal since 1980 to build a dental clinic in Sequim. I also believe we should go back to having an elected mayor.

Fairclough has lived in the city for 50-plus years.

• Alex Fane

Background: I retired from a lifetime in printing and publishing. I worked for Bethany House Publishers in Minnesota for more than 20 years. I’m self-taught in graphic arts and lived overseas in Asia and Europe. I’ve been on the city’s planning commission for two-and-a-half years.

Why apply: For the six years I’ve been in Sequim, I’ve done everything from being a part-time election worker for the county to doing the census to doing (Community Emergency Response Team), to being on the board of (a homeowners association) for three years to being on the planning commission. I’ve got a good background, and already know the operations of the city and the upcoming issues involved in the city. As we go to renew and update the Comprehensive Plan, I feel I’d be up to speed.

Additionally: My strengths are research and questioning. I want to bring transparency to city operations and decisions, and help share that everyone has a voice. Being a retired senior on limited, fixed income, I’m a natural advocate in the same boat. I’m also connected with young families in the neighborhood and follow the schools.

Fane has lived in the city for six years.

• Nicole Hartman

Background: I have been employed by Clallam PUD for more than 15 years and am currently the Communications and Government Relations Manager. I received my bachelor’s degree in business administration with a management emphasis from the University of Alaska Southeast.

Why apply: I just purchased a home in the city limits. I have been renting since 2020 and was unsure as to where I would end up moving within the Sequim area, so now that I am permanently within the city limits I want to help make my contribution. Sequim is a wonderful community and as such, growth is inevitable but we can seek to manage it well so we retain the sense of community that brought people here to begin with.

Additionally: As a long-time Rotarian, I do believe in “Service Above Self” and that one cannot complain if you aren’t willing to be part of the solution. I feel like I’ve been successful when people feel heard and even if they don’t always get the answer they want, that trust has been earned such that they believe you have the community’s best interests at heart.

Hartman has lived in the city since March 2020.

• Jean Janis

Background: I am retired and previously worked as a nurse, lab tech, and medical office manager. When I was at USC, I was pre-dental intending to go to dental school to become a hygienist. Then I decided I did not want to spend my life cleaning people’s teeth and decided to transfer to UCLA where I met a med student, fell in love and the next thing I knew I was paying for his education. I did research at the University of Toronto for three years while he was in medical school, and had two articles printed in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Why apply: I am interested in what happens in the city where I reside and wish to take part in the planning.

Additionally: I am a captain and have donated three hour rides in my boat to many of the charities in Sequim. In 2006, I went to Master Gardener school and continue to volunteer for garden tours, plant sales and plant clinics.

I am active in teaching second graders every year through the Youth Enrichment Program. I just retired after 10 years of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for safety patrols. I’ve been a trustee at the Co-op Farm and Garden for eight years, and volunteer at the Sequim Hospital Guild Thrift Shop and was president of the guild from 2007-2017. I’m also an avid knitter and everything I make goes to First Step in Port Angeles where moms can go and get anything they need for free.

Janis has lived in the city 14 months.

• William Stone

Background: My current occupation is an International IT Compliance Analyst for Costco Wholesale. I have been working for Costco over 27 years. I went to college at Northern Arizona University where I studied Business Management.

Why apply: I have always wanted to “give back” to the community that I live in. When COVID brought me out here in the first place and I knew that Sequim would be my “retirement home” I started to look for volunteer opportunities. I landed first with our local theatre troupe at Olympic Theatre Arts where I have done many things there – act, direct, backstage, etc. But I wasn’t satisfied. It’s one thing to complain about how things could be better. It is another thing to actually make things happen. So while Sequim is a gorgeous community we do have our challenges and I want to be in a position to affect change and make things better working with our citizens. I am sure that many of my ideas have already been discussed with the council but I think it important to keep the dialogue open and flowing to really affect change.

Additionally: As I previously hinted at, I am not one to sit idly by, especially when I see something that I think needs to change or correct, so I like to get involved where I can.

I was born in San Jose, Calif., but by the time I was 2 my father transferred to upstate New York near Schenectady where we lived until my sophomore year in high school. From there we transferred to Phoenix where I finished high school and as previously noted I finished college in Flagstaff at NAU. During all that time I married my wife and after college we eventually moved to San Diego for my wife’s career. Lived there nine years before moving to Washington in August of 1996. Got my Costco job and settled in North Bend until March of 2020 when I moved to the Sequim area. While in San Diego we had two beautiful sons – the oldest son lives in the eastside of Port Angeles. The younger son is in the process of moving to the Denver area. People should know that though my marriage did not survive, my ex-wife and I remain friends and she too lives in the Sequim area.

Stone has lived in the city nearly two years.

• John Worthington

Background: I am disabled former commercial driver. I studied broadcasting and I am now taking paralegal courses online.

Why apply: I am tired of farming out government to global and special interests. Local people need help more than Ukraine, China, India or the Tribes.

Additionally: I am a local kid that has wined and dined in limousines and slept in a van and ate pork and beans. I am a Kennedy help-you Democrat that had to register as a Republican because I am as diametrically opposed to the globalist agenda as you can get.

No more farming out government policy making, and I oppose the leveraging of my local government. I need finished product for the less fortunate, not endless bureaucracy.

I need my local government to be aggressive and ask for more of its own money back to spend on local issues, not global ones.

Worthington has lived in the city for three years and five months.