Ron Farquhar has lived in Sequim for the past 18 years, and he's well known in the area as JC Penney's former manager. In fact, Farquhar is the man responsible for the department store's relocation to Sequim from Port Angeles.
Farquhar was approached by councilman Walt Schubert about six years ago, asking him to apply for a vacancy on the Sequim City Council. Farquhar had never been involved with politics before but a year away from retirement, he felt it would be a great way to stay involved with the Sequim community as well as usher in a few changes.
"I thought, well, that will be my way of being involved. I saw a lot of things when I brought the store here that I just thought were tragic for a small town. It could do better," Farquhar said. "There was a lot of haggling, a lot of bitterness and a lot of people backstabbing each other. It wasn't progressive, it wasn't moving forward. This is a city-manager type council. You're really an advisory board and you shouldn't go beyond that or it doesn't work."
Farquhar says that his main goal upon joining the council was to "upgrade" Sequim, bringing in new technology as well as a more knowledgeable staff, "people that were up to snuff." With the majority of his goals adequately met, Farquhar debated not seeking re-election but finally decided to run because he wanted to see the prospect of a new city hall come to fruition.
"We need to have everybody under the same roof," Farquhar said.
He says that he was a little shocked that he and his fellow incumbents were painted as pandering to the interests of developers in this past election, but believes the incoming council will find their own way.
"I hadn't planned to run again, so it worked out fine. I don't think anyone running would've made it this time around because it was time for change. The wind blows and it moves things around," Farquhar said. "So long as they're working for the people of
Sequim - all of them - they'll be fine."
For a number of years Farquhar has been involved in the Sister City program, which pairs Sequim with a city in Japan. Farquhar chaperons a group of students who visit the Japanese city, which he says is very much like Sequim. He plans to continue being involved with the program but says he's done with politics. He and his wife plan to travel a great deal in the coming years.
Farquhar believes he's left
Sequim better off than it was when he first joined the council.
"I personally think our budgets are in very good shape now. I'd worked for years with budgets, and you could not tell how that budget worked. It was not divided properly, money would be moved all over the place. It was not transparent. The business angle was my part of the whole council," Farquhar said.
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