Charisse Deschenes will serve as Sequim interim city manager for up to six months when city councilors will evaluate promoting her and/or begin a search for a different permanent city manager. Photo courtesy of Charisse Deschenes

Charisse Deschenes will serve as Sequim interim city manager for up to six months when city councilors will evaluate promoting her and/or begin a search for a different permanent city manager. Photo courtesy of Charisse Deschenes

Sequim names interim city manager

Contract gives council six months to consider Deschenes in permanent position

SEQUIM — Sequim Assistant City Manager Charisse Deschenes is officially interim city manager.

City council members approved her contract at Monday night’s city council meeting in a 6-0 vote with Mayor William Armacost absent.

Deschenes’ new role follows the resignation of city manager Charlie Bush as council members voted 4-2 for his resignation Jan. 11. His last day with the city after five-plus years was Feb. 12.

No specific reasons have been disclosed for his resignation; Armacost has alluded only to “philosophical differences between Charlie and certain members of the council on some issues facing the city.”

Deschenes’ annual salary as interim city manager will be $123,000.

It includes health and retirement benefits, a $300 car allowance per month, and paid professional development dues and subscriptions for various associations and organizations.

Deputy Mayor Tom Ferrell said he felt Deschenes’ contract was fair.

“I’m quite happy we have someone of Charisse’s caliber,” he said.

“Those of you who don’t know her very well, I think you’re in for a treat. She’s got a lot of good ideas, and she’s action-oriented.”

Deschenes originally agreed to take on the interim position last year after Bush announced his plan to resign in February 2020 to hike the Appalachian Trail. However, he asked to rescind the resignation to help the city through the COVID-19 pandemic, and council members unanimously agreed.

Bush was reinstated March 23, 2020.

Armacost said at the Feb. 8 council meeting that Deschenes has “the full support of the council and I believe of staff as well” and that he expects “operations of the city to continue smoothly with her as acting city manager.”

No public discussion has been made on a city manager search.

Deschenes’ contract states her performance review will come on or before Aug. 16, six months after her start date in the position. If promoted to permanent city manager, Deschenes’ increased salary could range from $131,185 to $149,223, the contract states.

Similar to Bush’s contract, Deschenes is an at-will employee for an indefinite term and may be removed by the City Council at any time, with or without cause.

If she’s not promoted to city manager on or before Aug. 16, she’ll be offered the opportunity to return as assistant city manager with all her accrued leave intact, unless her employment is terminated, the contract states.

If terminated as interim or permanent city manager, her contract states she’ll receive six months base salary and six months of continued health insurance coverage.

Bush’s severance agreement gave him six months of pay at $60,000, along with $23,256 in unused vacation time and 12 months of paid health insurance.

Deschenes began working with the city in 2014 as senior planner and served as assistant to the city manager before being promoted to assistant city manager.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in park and resource management from Kansas State University and a master of business administration degree from Benedictine College.

She also completed the Senior Executive Institute from the Weldon Cooper School of Public Management and the Northwest Women’s Leadership Academy.

For more information about the Sequim City Council, visit www.sequimwa.gov or 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].

More in News

EYE ON CLALLAM: Kilmer to attend several government meetings

Government meetings throughout the county

Weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be field carrier landing practice operations for aircraft… Continue reading

Sequim man hurt in Highway 101 wreck

A Sequim man was treated and discharged from Jefferson Healthcare… Continue reading

Program to address filing tax returns

The North Olympic Library System and the AARP Foundation… Continue reading

DOT sets overnight closures of Hood Canal Bridge again

Fifth time in as many weeks; others were canceled

By Dave Logan/For Peninsula Daily News 

First Sgt. Kent Keller of Sequim, left, presents to Linda Featheringill of Port Angeles the Purple Heart her brother was never able to receive in person as well as a United States of America War Office document. Her brother, Army Cpl. Marvin D. Actkinson, was declared missing in action in Korea on Dec. 2, 1950 and presumed dead in 1953. He was 18. His remains were returned in 2018 and will be buried in Colorado City, Texas, on Feb. 12. The Thursday ceremony was hosted by the Michael Trebert Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at the Northwest Veterans Resource Center in Port Angeles. Featheringill was accompanied by her daughter Eilenah Moon. About 70 people attended the ceremony, which honored Actkinson 71 years after his death.
Presenting a Purple Heart

First Sgt. Kent Keller of Sequim, left, presents to Linda Featheringill of… Continue reading

City to take over Port Angeles garbage services

Dispute with private company resolved

COVID-19 cases rise on Peninsula

Health officer expects peak soon

Most Read