Seven candidates set for open Sequim City Council seat

Former mayor Ferrell resigned in March after being reelected

SEQUIM — Seven Sequim residents will interview during the next two weeks for the vacant city council seat left by former mayor Tom Ferrell following his resignation in March.

Applicants include Kelly Burger, Ron Fairclough, Alex Fane, Nicole Hartman, Jean Janis, William Stone and John Worthington.

The city council will conduct separate interviews with the candidates starting at 4 p.m. Monday and April 15 in public sessions.

An executive work session is scheduled for 5 p.m. April 22, to consider the qualifications of the candidates before the council tentatively selects someone that night.

The appointee would serve through certification of the 2025 general election and receive $368 per month while in office.

To serve Ferrell’s full term through Dec. 31, 2027, the appointee would need to run again in 2025.

Ferrell was reelected in November 2023 but opted to resign due to work commitments and differing views with the direction of the city council’s efforts, he said.

Council members agreed on March 25 to ask 10 of 22 suggested questions to each applicant.

Council member Kathy Downer said she wanted to ask fewer questions due to the amount of time it would take, but fellow council members wanted more information as resumes were not required for the application process. Applicants are welcome to bring them at the interview, city staff said.

Candidates

The Sequim Gazette asked the same questions to candidates over the phone or via email about their background and reasons behind their desire to be on city council. Here are their responses:

Kelly Burger

Burger has been a stay-at-home parent for the past three years. He previously worked as a sales estimator at Brix Marine in Port Angeles. He has an associate of science degree in marine environmental technology from Florida Keys Community College.

”I feel that local government is one of the best opportunities to make meaningful impacts and positive changes in our communities,” he said. “My family loves living in Sequim and I feel that being on the city council would allow me to make those impacts so it will continue being a great place to live not only for my children but for everyone in the community for years to come.”

Ron Fairclough

Fairclough worked for Boeing, served in the U.S. Army for three years and moved to Sequim in 1973.

He operated a dental lab through the 1990s and continues to work part-time as a trained dental technician.

“What I really believe in is there are housing problems, and when I was a younger man in Seattle, there was neighborhood housing with the rich and poor, a mix of people,” he said. “It’s not this idea of building low-income housing all in one spot.”

Alex Fane

Fane retired from a lifetime in printing and publishing and worked for Bethany House Publishers in Minnesota for more than 20 years. He is self-taught in graphic arts and lived overseas in Asia and Europe. He has been on the city’s planning commission for 2 1/2 years.

“For the six years I’ve been in Sequim, I’ve done everything from being a part-time election worker for the county to doing the census to doing (Community Emergency Response Team), to being on the board of (a homeowners association) for three years, to being on the planning commission,” Fane said. “I’ve got a good background and already know the operations of the city and the upcoming issues involved in the city. As we go to renew and update the Comprehensive Plan, I feel I’d be up to speed.”

Nicole Hartman

Hartman has been employed by Clallam PUD for more than 15 years and she’s currently the communications and government relations manager. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a management emphasis from the University of Alaska Southeast.

“I just purchased a home in the city limits,” Hartman said. “I have been renting since 2020 and was unsure as to where I would end up moving within the Sequim area, so now that I am permanently within the city limits, I want to help make my contribution. Sequim is a wonderful community, and as such, growth is inevitable, but we can seek to manage it well so we retain the sense of community that brought people here to begin with.”

Jean Janis

Janis retired and previously worked as a nurse, lab tech and medical office manager. When she was at USC, she intended to go to dental school to become a hygienist. Then she decided to transfer to UCLA, where she met a med student, fell in love and “the next thing I knew, I was paying for his education.” She performed research at the University of Toronto for three years and had two articles printed in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“I am interested in what happens in the city where I reside and wish to take part in the planning,” Janis said.

William Stone

Stone is an international IT compliance analyst for Costco Wholesale. He has been working at Costco for more than 27 years. He went to college at Northern Arizona University, where he studied Business Management.

“I have always wanted to ‘give back’ to the community that I live in,” Stone said. “When COVID brought me out here in the first place and I knew that Sequim would be my ‘retirement home,’ I started to look for volunteer opportunities. I landed first with our local theatre troupe at Olympic Theatre Arts, where I have done many things there — act, direct, backstage, etc. But I wasn’t satisfied.

“It’s one thing to complain about how things could be better. It is another thing to actually make things happen. So while Sequim is a gorgeous community, we do have our challenges, and I want to be in a position to affect change and make things better working with our citizens.”

John Worthington

Worthington is a disabled former commercial driver who studied broadcasting and is now taking paralegal courses online.

“I am tired of farming out government to global and special interests,” Worthington said. “Local people need help more than Ukraine, China, India or the tribes.”

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