A stopgap for the soon-to-be vacant Sequim City Planning Department has been found. Christopher Hugo started work on Monday, March 28, as interim planning director on a contract basis.
He’ll replace Joe Irvin, current interim planning director, who has served in the role since October 2010 following the resignation of Dennis Lefevre, former planning director. Irvin’s last day is April 12. After more than six years with the city, he moves to South Florida with his family.
Sequim City Manager Steve Burkett said he is pleased that the city was able to bring someone with Hugo’s level of experience on board. His intention was to hire someone in the interim again until someone permanent was found.
Hugo worked for the City of Spokane for more than 20 years as a planner, senior planner and program manager and spent six years as community development director for the City of Bremerton.
His company, SoundPlans LLC, recently was the consultant with the City of Fife on building a new town center, the Suquamish Tribe on growth management and the City of Bellingham on updating its zoning code.
“His (Hugo’s) experience in the development of a downtown plan for the City of Bremerton and his work on the comprehensive plans for both Bremerton and Spokane will be very helpful,” Burkett said.
Burkett said he interviewed three candidates for the position before hiring Hugo.
Hugo said he expects to apply for the permanent planning director position that the City of Sequim continues to recruit. Interviews are expected in April.
“When I visited Sequim a couple of weeks ago, it had been several years since my last visit. I was pleasantly surprised at discovering a place that is vibrant, exhibits a high quality of life and shows great community pride,” Hugo said.
“I chose public sector planning as a career so that I could help communities find healthy futures on terms that they chose. Sequim offers a great opportunity in that role.”
Hugo is married to Linda Hugo, executive director of Community Frameworks, a nonprofit housing assistance program based out of Spokane. They have two grown sons.
Contact the city at 152 W. Cedar St., at 683-4198 or visit www.ci.sequim.wa.us.