SEQUIM — To start 2020, Sequim has a new mayor.
Sequim City Council members elected salon owner William Armacost on Monday to lead meetings for the next two years.
Fellow council member Brandon Janisse nominated Armacost while former mayor Dennis Smith nominated himself. Jennifer States nominated new council member Tom Ferrell, who thanked her but declined the nomination.
Armacost, appointed to the council in 2018 and elected 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 in Sequim.
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 more than 16 years as “invaluable” with the high interest around the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s proposed medication-assisted treatment clinic.
“There’s no one (else) 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. He said he’s based many decisions on the feedback he receives from the community daily.
Smith, appointed in 2012 to the council and re-elected 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.
Multiple city council members 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,” council member 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 council members were sworn into office as well, including Armacost, Ferrell, States and Troy Tenneson.
The Sequim City Council meets next on Jan. 27, at the Sequim Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St. For more information, call 360-683-4139.
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].