Councilwoman Pratt unanimously elected as Sequim's new mayor in Monday meeting
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
Sequim Clerk Karen Kuznek-Reece, right, puts the nameplate of new Mayor Candace Pratt, left, in front of the mayor's seat at the council table in the Sequim Transit Center on Monday night.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– The City Council elected Candace Pratt as Sequim's new mayor with an unanimous vote.

A retired teacher and bookkeeper, Pratt, 75, was elected to a second term on the council in November.

“Breaking ground on our new City Hall and police station this year, this is going to be an exciting time to take over,” Pratt said at the meeting Monday night.

“I'm honored that my colleagues would consider me for this position.”

Pratt, a widowed mother of five, takes over the two-year mayor's position from Ken Hays, who served four years as the city's top political figure.

“Ken has just set a wonderful example for me to follow,” Pratt said.

Councilman Dennis Smith, a retired Air Force veteran, was selected by the council to serve as mayor pro tem for the next two years, taking over for Ted Miller.

Smith was appointed to the council in October 2012 and was elected to serve a full term in November.

Councilwoman Laura Dubois, a former mayor, praised Pratt for her “great leadership and community outreach” after nominating her Monday night.

No other candidates were nominated.

'Weak mayor' system

Sequim's municipal government is set up under a “weak mayor” system, which puts a council member in the mayor seat for a two-year term to chair meetings and perform other ceremonial duties.

The mayor is paid $250 a month, with the mayor pro tem paid $200 and other council members $150.

Hays drew praise from council members and city staff for his stint in the mayor's seat.

“I think we've had a lot of success with the city as a result of the leadership we've had,” City Manager Steve Burkett said.

Hays instituted a “coffee with the mayor” program in which he appeared monthly at Sequim coffee shops to talk with residents.

Dubois noted Hays' role in planning the city's centennial celebration, which included events throughout 2013 to mark Sequim's 100th anniversary.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 14. 2014 7:05PM
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