Sequim City Council members Rachel Anderson and Brandon Janisse were voted in by fellow council members to serve as deputy mayor and mayor through the end of 2025. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim City Council members Rachel Anderson and Brandon Janisse were voted in by fellow council members to serve as deputy mayor and mayor through the end of 2025. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Janisse elected mayor by Sequim City Council

SEQUIM — A tenured city council member is Sequim’s mayor after newly elected and re-elected council members were sworn in at the first council meeting of 2024.

Fellow council members on Jan. 8 elected Brandon Janisse to serve as Sequim’s mayor for two years, while council member Rachel Anderson was elected deputy mayor.

Janisse, first elected to the Sequim City Council in 2017, served as deputy mayor under mayor Tom Ferrell the past two years and was nominated by Kathy Downer for mayor this go-round.

He said the mayor serves as a liaison between the council and staff and shouldn’t be afraid to push the council’s ideas, such as efforts in 2023 to apply for the Connecting Housing to Infrastructure Program (CHIP) grant and reshaping council rules.

“It’s taking (all of us) together and figuring out the best path forward,” Janisse said.

He said helping fight homelessness and create housing remain priorities and that they should continue to unify in order to help fast track efforts, such as the moratorium on mobile home park redevelopment so zoning changes can be made.

Anderson, first appointed to council and then elected in 2021, was nominated by Ferrell for mayor, and by two council members for deputy mayor. Janisse and Anderson won their positions in 5-2 votes. Council member Vicki Lowe was also nominated for deputy mayor.

Anderson said she received her Certificate of Municipal Leadership and Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities shortly into her time on council, and she has learned a lot about what’s needed in the city.

She mentioned her many hours of volunteerism and interpersonal and analytical skills, and she and other council members have worked hard to follow policies and procedures.

Both Janisse and Anderson will serve in their roles through the end of their terms on Dec. 31, 2025. Former mayor and city council member Candace Pratt was the only public commenter at the meeting; she congratulated Janisse and Anderson and the new council members.

Sequim is a council-manager form of government with the council’s principal job to make policy, according to the City of Sequim’s website.

During a brief discussion before nominations, council members spoke about the mayor’s role and council as a whole going into 2024.

Downer said she felt there has been less conflict the last two years than in previous years. Lowe agreed, saying when she started office, meetings started being run differently as they redid the council’s rules.

Ferrell said the community doesn’t have to worry about the council being caught in “group think” as they all have differing opinions and they’re all willing to share where they stand.

Anderson said she felt the last few years have been about stabilization and that they’ve learned a lot about each other and how they want to move forward as a unit.

“I still feel we have a lot of room to grow,” she said.

New software

City Clerk Amy Aschenbrenner revealed on Jan. 8 the iCompass software system that staff will start using for agendas and broadcasting videos of city council and commission meetings.

She said staff is loving it, and with the software, they’ll be able to upload meetings automatically to YouTube, have various viewing options for agendas and documents, and better click-ability to specific agenda items.

Residents can subscribe for notifications, and those already subscribed will be carried over to the new system, Aschenbrenner said.

Sequim’s next hybrid city council meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday in the Sequim Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St.

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