Sequim City Council member Dennis Smith, who served as mayor for four years after he was initially appointed to the council 2012, has resigned.
Smith, 74, stepped down effective immediately, citing personal reasons.
“After many hours of discussion with my family, my friends and my doctor, I have determined that it would be best to discontinue my involvement with the City Council at this time,” Smith wrote in a Friday email to City Manager Charlie Bush and Mayor William Armacost.
“It has been an honor to serve as a representative of this community,” Smith wrote.
The City Council was set to discuss the process of appointing a replacement during its regular meeting Monday after press time. Smith’s elected four-year term for the Position 4 seat was set to expire at the end of this year.
He is one of five City Council members who started their terms as appointees. The council will either appoint a replacement by April 8, or the Clallam County commissioners will assume the task.
Smith, a retired U.S. Air Force communications officer, had served more than eight years on the council, including as mayor from 2016-19. He also served as deputy mayor in 2014-15.
“I am extremely grateful for (Smith’s) years of service to the City of Sequim, and I want to personally thank Dennis for encouraging me to run for the City Council,” Armacost wrote in a press release issued by the city on Saturday.
“In my wildest dreams I had never considered serving on the council, and Dennis’s mentorship was extremely valuable in me being on-boarded to the council and was an added value to my role as mayor.
“I’d like to wish Dennis an abundance of peace and good health.”
Bush said he “greatly enjoyed” working with Smith, particularly while he was mayor.
“His long-term service to the council and the community was commendable,” Bush said.
In a phone interview on Monday, Smith said he evaluated a number of factors — including his age and the reality of having to commit in May to running for a third term in the general election — and found he felt serving through 2025 “sounded like more than I could commit to.”
Smith moved to Sequim in 2008 after a career in the Air Force. He served for 33 years in communications for the Air Force/National Guard and retired as lieutenant colonel as the communication electronics manager for the Western Air Defense Sector at the McChord Air Force Base.
He was elected twice by Sequim voters, including an unopposed campaign in 2017.
Among many city decisions he’s been a part of, he said hiring Bush is something he’d “hang (my) hat on.”
“He’s a very valuable man and has provided city with an outstanding staff; I can’t say it enough,” Smith said.
Of the several projects completed during his tenure, Smith listed the completion of the West Fir Street Rehabilitation project, the pickleball courts in Carrie Blake Community Park and the renovation of the Guy Cole Event Center as some of his personal highlights.
He also served as mayor when community discussions and concern began to grow about the proposed medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic. Smith said it’s been controversial and caused some headache, but he felt the city strived to make sure everyone’s opinions were heard.
He feels it’s gotten people to be involved, and “that’s very much a plus.”
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]