Five to be interviewed for open Sequim council seat

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM — The City Council will interview five candidates Monday before possibly naming one to the fill the unexpired term of the seat vacated by Don Hall.

Hall retired in November. His term expires in December.

Up for consideration are John Butler, John Jensen, Karen Pritchard, Ron Fairclough and Genaveve Starr, the latter two having been interviewed when Dennis Smith was tapped in October to fill the seat vacated by Bill Huizinga in August.

The council is slated to interview the candidates as Monday’s council meeting begins at 5 p.m. at the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.

An executive session will follow the interviews to allow the council to discuss the candidates.

The new council member may be appointed and sworn in after that.

“Hopefully, we can appoint somebody, and they can get started right away,” Mayor Ken Hays said.

Added City Manager Steve Burkett: “That’s the plan. If the council makes the decision, then we can swear them right in.”

Here are details about the five candidates for the appointment, taken from their applications.


A Sequim resident for the past decade and a North Carolina native, Butler said he is seeking the position to help shape the city’s future.

“It’s a matter of ‘lead, follow or get out of the way,’ and I’ve been getting out of the way too long,” Butler said.

Butler retired from a career in the military in 1993.

Since then, he has overseen programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula through AmeriCorps and has worked as a corrections officer and as an engraver.


A retired dental technician and resident of Sequim since the early 1970s, Fairclough’s primary interest in serving on the council is to prevent the city from pushing farther from its downtown core.

“I would like to do everything that I can to promote the core of the city and to stop urban sprawl,” Fairclough said.

An Army veteran and former Boeing designer, Fairclough said his training as a designer has given him an understanding of how cities should grow.


A 30-year resident and a graduate of Sequim High School, Jensen said the city needs to work better with builders to expand its economy.

“I would like to improve the relations between the city and local builders to support a healthy and working environment to better the families of Sequim,” Jensen said.

Jensen is a contractor and owner of An Den Construction and also owns the Cracked Bean Coffee Co.


A real estate agent and a seven-year resident of Sequim, Pritchard said she has insight into the issues that will face Sequim.

“I feel that I have the capacity to positively contribute to the decisions affecting all of us living here,” Pritchard said.

Pritchard has served as president of both the Sequim Association of Realtors and the Twin Oaks Manor Condominium’s board of directors, and is a member of the Clallam County Agricultural Commission.


A retiree who has lived in Sequim since 1988, Starr said she would like to take the council seat to bring a positive influence to decisions affecting the city’s future.

“I’ve enjoyed quality of life as a Sequim resident for many years, and I feel a responsibility to ‘give back’ to the community,” Starr said.

She formerly worked for Olympic Community Action Programs and is a member of the League of Women Voters. She also has served on the Dungeness Watershed Committee and on the committee to explore the future of Sequim’s buildings.


Reporter Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5056, or at

Last modified: January 12. 2013 5:17PM
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