Acting city clerk Heather Robley, right, swears in new city council member Nicole Hartman on Monday after she was appointed to fill former mayor Tom Ferrell’s seat. Hartman will serve through certification of the 2025 general election. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Acting city clerk Heather Robley, right, swears in new city council member Nicole Hartman on Monday after she was appointed to fill former mayor Tom Ferrell’s seat. Hartman will serve through certification of the 2025 general election. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Hartman named to Sequim council

PUD staffer to serve in former mayor’s seat

SEQUIM — Nicole Hartman, a longtime Clallam Public Utility District staff member, has been appointed to the Sequim City Council.

Council members voted for Hartman, a city resident since March 2020, to take over Position 7, which was held by former mayor Tom Ferrell. She will serve through certification of the 2025 general election, and then voters decide who will complete the rest of Ferrell’s term through 2027. Ferrell resigned last month.

Hartman, currently the PUD’s communications and government relations manager, said after her first council meeting on Monday she feels “honored and humbled” to be selected.

She was picked from a field of seven applicants that included Kelly Burger, Ron Fairclough, Alex Fane, Jean Janis, William Stone and John Worthington; Worthington withdrew his application via email.

Council members interviewed the candidates April 8 and April 15 in open special meetings, and they asked each candidate the same 10 questions. They voted 5-1 for Hartman, with Vicki Lowe nominating and voting for Burger.

After the meeting, Hartman reiterated from her council interview that she wants to focus on affordable housing, adequate water resources, emergency preparedness, mental health resources and quality of life.

Asked about her vision for the city on April 15, Hartman said she wants “all residents to feel engaged in their community and feel welcome.”

In her interview, she said part of her role includes being responsive to recent city surveys. She also wants the city to “manage growth so that community needs are met while retaining the reason people came here to begin with.”

Regarding skills and qualities to be a successful city council member, Hartman said someone must be transparent, ethical, have thick skin, believe in consensus building, listen first, and be open to having their mind changed on issues.

“Opposing viewpoints can come up with some amazing out-of-the-box thinking,” she said.

City council member Dan Butler said he appreciated Hartman’s succinctness during the interview.

Hartman said city council members should ask good questions to mitigate unintended consequences of their actions, and also trust city staff as subject matter experts.

Hartman moved from Alaska to Sequim in unincorporated Clallam County in 2008 after working as marketing manager for True North Federal Credit Union in Juneau (2000-2008). She has been renting an apartment in the city while looking for her “forever home.”

Once she moved, Hartman said she felt she was in a “good position to give back to the community.”

After Monday’s meeting, Hartman said she’ll be able to handle her PUD job and city council job well, and that her position will help her see unique things that she can bring to the city council.

“Being aware of what’s going on in both organizations will be useful for both organizations to know how can we work collaboratively to make things better,” she said.

Hartman also serves as president of the Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club.

For more about the Sequim City Council, visit


Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of newspapers Peninsula News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at

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