SEQUIM — Sarah Kincaid and Michael “Mike” Pence are the two new members of the Sequim City Council.
The two fill seats left vacant by the resignation of Jennifer States in February and death of Deputy Mayor Ted Miller on April 10.
The council voted unanimously for Pence to fill Miller’s seat and 4-0 for Kincaid to fill States’ seat after returning from an executive session Monday night. Brandon Janisse abstained from the vote for Kincaid with no reason given.
Both terms expire Dec. 31, 2021.
The council also elected Tom Ferrell, who was elected to the council in 2019, to fill Miller’s seat as deputy mayor; the vote was 5-1 for Ferrell with Janisse nominating himself and Dennis Smith abstaining.
Following an executive session, councilors chose Kincaid, 76, a retired office manager and quality control supervisor, and Pence, 68, a municipal government employee who retired from a public works director position in Missouri.
Pence moved to Sequim about a year ago. He said in a telephone interview it was “a great feeling” to be appointed.
“It’s a great opportunity to work with the rest of the city council on common matters,” Pence said.
“My background should totally be of help to the council.”
Kincaid moved into Sequim in July 2015 after about 15 years in Diamond Point.
She said by phone that being a city council member is a “little daunting” but that she’s ready to catch up with city business.
Prior to her appointment, Kincaid ran a write-in campaign in the November 2019 general election for States’ seat.
Other candidates for the vacant city council positions included Lowell Rathbun, a retired radio frequency design engineer and active member of the Clallam County Democrats, and Robert “Bob” Sheckler, a retired banker and mortgage broker and former mayor of the City of Des Moines (Wash.).
Kincaid said affordable housing and bringing a full-service hospital to Sequim are among her priorities.
She added that bringing a hospital to Sequim is something “we should be looking into, especially with COVID-19.”
“If we had a problem here, that could have been very bad for us,” Kincaid said.
Pence said he seeks continued orderly development in the city.
“We have to have a happy blend of commercial, industrial and residential (development) to make a well-rounded community,” he said.
“I’ve been in cities where development was out of control, and it wasn’t pleasant.”
Pence said Sequim is at a crossroads.
“It could stay the way it is, or it can get better,” he said. “There’s a lot of things going on out here that can make a more vibrant community (such as coordinating between groups).
“I also hate to mess with that because it is a unique little town. We can’t stop it from growing, but we want to make sure it grows in an orderly fashion.”
Pence is married and has two grown daughters with families of their own. He has moved to different communities for work, but Pence said he moved to the Sequim area by choice.
“This is totally backwards from what I’m used to doing, and I like it better,” he said.
In his spare time, Pence and his wife enjoy traveling and looking at wildlife.
Kincaid has been married for 55 years. They have two children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
In her spare time, she’s active with the Clallam County Republican Party, including serving as president of the Republican Women of Clallam County and precinct committee officer.
She said she hopes state Republicans hold a convention in person rather than online because she was elected to represent Clallam County this year.
Kincaid also has volunteered for the Sequim Lavender Festival and the Sequim-Dungeness Lions’ Crab Feed.
She likes to travel as well, and said if not for COVID-19 she would have returned from a vacation in Hawaii this week.
For more information about the Sequim City Council, call 360-683-4139 or visit sequimwa.gov.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Sequim Gazette. Reach him at [email protected].