Jan Richardson recently raised the ire of many Sequim residents. In a Sequim Gazette story regarding the departure of former Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center Director Taylor McDonald, Richardson said the city “is just not a place for a young, intelligent, single person.” Reaction to Richardson’s comments were plentiful on Facebook.
It’s the truth, unfortunately, in many ways. I disagree socially, spiritually and actively because that is what you make of it. This is a great place for genuine friendships, outdoor activity and church life. But just start up a business here and you’ll understand the sentiment immediately. This town LEAPS down your throat and beats you into the ground when you hang a shingle. Politically, Sequim is extremely anti-small business, anti-entrepreneur and anti-free enterprise. Don’t know that they set out to be, but in net effect, regulation is more important to this town than individual success. Entrepreneurs need freedom, Sequim politics thrive on making rules. Small town = fewer “jobs,” obviously, that’s just to be expected, but the anti-entrepreneur mentality is what is unfortunate. I grew up here, I’ve seen it get worse and worse and worse. It’s sad.
Young, intelligent people that have an entrepreneurial spirit will do (well) wherever they live. Sequim is so close to Victoria and Seattle that you can get all of the things that Sequim doesn’t have but you can’t get what Sequim does have, a wonderful atmosphere to grow with and enrich. So of course young people can thrive in Sequim if they have the spirit and love what there is to offer there.
Wow. Sad statement. Its a beautiful place. I have a thriving career here, I am young. We need to improve that mind set. People say it’s a retirement town, but who takes care of them? Younger folks who then start a family of their own.
Jeremy William Boynton
True. It’s still a retirement community first and foremost. All proposed development that would bring a younger variety of people to this area gets fought to the bitter end and the people in this town seem to have a penchant for rejecting outsiders. Especially the non-religious.
I agree with this because the young, intelligent single people don’t have any opportunity to expand their goals and dreams. We have one college that offers a select amount of programs, then once you do graduate you may or may not get a job because the demand isn’t high enough for the profession. So further education doesn’t always help. So they end up sticking to the mediocre job they have that weighs them down and live a life that is not their expectation for their life. It’s a job to get by with survival.
Barbara Ann Loska
Being of the “retired” contingent … it is sad to see this statement and its reaction. This town so desperately needs its younger people to get educated and stay and build careers here. There are so many professions that could flourish and bloom here, we “retired” have need of many services that are well-paying careers, especially in the medical and financial fields … and honestly, there is no shame in being in the service and hospitality industry here, not everyone gets to go to higher education and high paying careers, and this community is a wonderful place to live and raise a family.
Andee Harlow Clancy
As a "youngish" business person here in Sequim, I've had such mixed responses from the community at large. From "Don't tell ANYONE you're from California" to open arms from many of my wedding vendors who know my goal is to bring destination weddings here. Sequim is a very special place on earth and I respect and acknowledge that DAILY. I've had extraordinary experiences with the folks that live here and never want to leave.
While Sequim may not provide an abundance of college access and job opportunities, I firmly believe that Sequim's education system and its overall community breeds intelligent and well-prepared young adults who are equipped to succeed anywhere, whether that be in the bustle of Seattle, or in the calm of Sequim. Although Sequim may not satisfy the needs and goals of EVERY "young, intelligent, single person," it is a picturesque, laid-back, friendly community in which many intelligent and wonderful people, old AND young, find success and happiness. As a "young and intelligent" female who was born and raised in Sequim, I now find success and happiness in Seattle instead of my hometown, but I still feel that Jan's statement was in poor taste and that (he) made an incredibly generalized assumption about the young adults of today.
Wow, good tourist billboard material.
I grew up in Sequim and moved away right after high school, never looking back. If you're young and intelligent, you'd do the same thing. The MSN.com article published several years ago pretty much confirmed my disappointment in the town I used to know, "Much of Sequim's pastoral, small-town charm has been bulldozed," the old, family run market has been replaced by Walmart, and "meth labs and murder."
Kristin Lewis Martin
Wow, what a slap in the face to folks. So if you are not a young, intelligent, single person stay here because it is the best you can do? Just Wow!
I agree … one of the reasons why I moved back to California … lack of jobs, opportunities, and fun things to do at night … also, slim pickings of good, single men!
Misplaced passive-aggression? Seems like becoming part of a community and looking out for your neighbors would be helpful regardless of age and background/ability. Comments like that only seek to divide.
If you want "young, intelligent" people to come to your community, then you need to give them an incentive to do so. That requires investment in education which means people in your community will have to sacrifice part of their income to fund said investment.
Every big city started small. They didn't get big or rich by accepting a lack of education and infrastructure as the standard.
This problem is actually far more complex than I've made it sound but that's the general idea.
Agreed, that's why I moved away. Great place if you're married and ready to raise a family. Not somewhere for young people to find good paying careers to start their lives off.
Yes and No. YES they should live in Sequim … a new generation is needed there, and it's an amazingly beautiful place … but the economy and demographics won't make it easy. If you're young and intelligent (and not from around these parts), good luck. From my experiences, young and intelligent is a THREAT.
True! It is a retirement community where most of the population is retired and they have an attitude of entitlement and show little respect. I fail to see this town thriving, though, without something to offer the younger generations … Who will work in the stores and restaurants ???
Sandra Stillwell McMillon
Sequim doesn't have much to offer our young people and that's a shame.
That's why I'm not going to move back once I get out of college. Because even though I was born and raised in Sequim, I just feel like it's not where I'm meant to be. Especially with that mind set.