Sequim City Clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese swears in new city council member William Armacost, 63, on Monday, after he was appointed by the City Council to fill the vacant seat of Pam Leonard-Ray, who resigned in May. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim City Clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese swears in new city council member William Armacost, 63, on Monday, after he was appointed by the City Council to fill the vacant seat of Pam Leonard-Ray, who resigned in May. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim City Council selects salon owner Armacost as newest member

Six-year resident says affordable housing big priority

SEQUIM — For the second time this year, the Sequim City Council has appointed a new member.

William Armacost, 63, was selected at Monday’s council meeting from four candidates — including Ron Fairclough, Tom Ferrell and Richard Fleck — to fill the position vacated by Pam Leonard-Ray.

Leonard-Ray resigned in May to move to Carson City, Nev., to help her parents.

Armacost will serve Leonard-Ray’s term through Dec. 31, 2019.

“Quite frankly, I feel like it’s a time in my life that I need to give back,” Armacost, owner of Changes Salon & Spa, said in an interview.

He’s lived in Sequim for 34 years, the past six in the city of Sequim.

“I’ve been blessed to raise my family here and I’ve had multiple businesses that have been successful [in my career],” he said.

Armacost is now the fourth current city council member to start service as appointees joining Mayor Dennis Smith (2012), Bob Lake (2016), and Jennifer States (2018). States replaced John Miller in January, after Miller died in November 2017.

City Council member Brandon Janisse nominated Armacost, who received four of five council votes, with Ted Miller nominating and voting for Ferrell. Lake was excused from the meeting. Both Fairclough and Fleck applied for John Miller’s position in January, too.

Council members interviewed the candidates for about 30 minutes before going into executive session and returning to council chambers to make nominations.

Armacost moved to Sequim from New York City where he served as a spokesperson for Revlon, worked at various hair shows for various companies, owned a hair studio and worked and traveled with the fashion industry.

In Sequim, he served on the Sequim Irrigation Festival’s Pageant Board and helped provide contestants a speech coach, organized the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula Auction, taught karate at the Sequim unit of the clubs through the Olympic Peninsula Karate Association, and helped create a fundraiser for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Armacost said he also provided low-cost hair cut options for low-income families.

One issue Armacost said he feels City Council members should address is affordable housing, saying that even some of his employees experienced difficulty in finding housing in the area.

In his application, he said the city should “address the lack of housing choices from young adults to our retired members of the community.”

The city has a housing study underway investigating housing options in Sequim.

Armacost said change is inevitable in Sequim because the city brings in people of all walks of life and from all over the country but there’s a “movement in the city to embrace, good positive change.”

He told council members that one of his best attributes is that he’s a great listener, thanks to his line of work.

He said in his application that he’d like to nurture people being heard and helping them become engaged.

Among his other talking points, Armacost said he’d like to expand Sequim’s small-town feel while preserving its natural assets, help find a way to diminish crime and vagrancy, and encourage business growth with higher paying jobs.

When asked, Armacost said he did not have any conflict of interests in serving on City Council, and he can change his schedule when needed for special meetings and events if needed.

“The opportunity for being a team player is something I look forward to,” Armacost said.

For more on the Sequim City Council, visit www.sequimwa.gov or call 360-683-4139.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].

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