Councilors unanimously approved changing the city’s Planning Department name to the Department of Community Development in a 7-0 vote Monday, Aug. 22.
With the change, Planning Director Chris Hugo assumes the title of director of community development.
Hugo said the change better includes staff who perform current and long-term planning, development services and code compliance because in the department only 1.75 of five full-time employees are planners.
“We don’t exist to plan. We exist to help make the community a better place,” Hugo told the Gazette. “The title denotes what we’re about better.”
He looked at local governments in Western Washington and found most do not have a planning department but a department of community development or a similar name.
City Hall remodel bid approved
Maple View Enterprises won the bid to remodel the City of Sequim’s City Hall, 152 W. Cedar St. In July, councilors approved up to $50,000 from the capital facilities fund to create more office space, a conference room and a break area in the building.
On Monday, the council voted 7-0 for Maple View’s bid, the lowest of four bids at just over $38,500.
Jeff Edwards, public works office/parks manager, said the move brings three staff back into City Hall from offices in Suite 17 next to the Sequim Police Department.
He said bids came in lower than expected and he’s confident Maple View will do a good job because it’s done work for the city before.
Mayor Pro-Tem Laura Dubois made a suggestion that the city look into an additional cost for installing an ADA-compliant front door.
Five citizens now make up half of the city’s comprehensive plan steering committee to help direct the 18-month project. The committee consists of city residents Bob Anundson, Eric Egnew, Nancy Goldstien and Gary Kispert and county resident Andrew Shogren. They join planning commission members Bill Sterhan and Jon Wendt and Mayor Ken Hays and councilors Bill Huizinga and Erik Erichsen.
Councilor Ted Miller, Dubois and Hugo interviewed 13 candidates. Originally, 18 applied but two withdrew and three didn’t make their appointments. Five of the candidates lived inside the city limits.
The program is designed to enhance the ability of elected municipal officials by providing knowledge and skills to effectively operate within the law, plan for the future, secure and manage funds and foster community and staff relationships.
In the 1990s, Hays served on the Sequim Planning Commission and city residents voted him onto the city council in 2008. He became mayor in 2010.
Contact the City of Sequim, 152 W. Cedar St., at 683-4139 or visit www.ci.sequim.wa.us.
Reach Matthew Nash at email@example.com.