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Hulsey steps down from Pacific City Council

Gary Hulsey has stepped down as a Pacific City Councilman after more than seven years. - Reporter file photo
Gary Hulsey has stepped down as a Pacific City Councilman after more than seven years.
— image credit: Reporter file photo

After more than seven years as a member of the Pacific City Council, Gary Hulsey has stepped down.

Hulsey's resignation, for health reasons, was effective immediately after Monday's council meeting.

"We're sad to see him step down, but due to health reasons, we understand that it is the best thing for him," said Mayor Leanne Guier.

"He's been on the council since 2007, so he has served for seven years," Guier added. "In that time he's been a strong advocate for veterans, seniors and all citizens, as well as a strong supporter of our parks."

Hulsey said he first decided to run for the council in 2006, in the wake of flooding in Pacific.

"I could look out my front door and see the water rising in the park," Hulsey, 66, said. "At 10 a.m. I started walking over there and saw (former) Mayor Hildreth. He wanted to wait until 5 p.m."

Hulsey said he took it on himself to start organizing neighbors, and after delivery of a load of sand and bags, began shoring up the city's defenses.

"We got a big jump and managed to make sure nothing happened to any of those houses," he said. "And Hildreth asked if I was interested in running for council."

No stranger to public service - he was a member of the Pacific planning commission from 1998-2000 and served as state commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars — Hulsey ran and won a council seat.

"I had thought about running before, but it wasn't pressing," he said. "It was an opportunity to serve my community and make this city a better place to live though. Local politics is not a spectator sport. If you aren't willing to roll up your sleeves and get to work, nobody is going to do the job for you. I've been a member of this community for 26 years. I pay taxes and own property. You might say I'm a shareholder in this corporation."

Hulsey said he was proud of his achievements for the City.

"I hope I've left a legacy there," he said. "They do the Pledge of Allegiance at workshops now. That started when I was president of the council. It's been an honor and pleasure to serve. I hope I've made an impact on public safety as well, with the police department."

Although, Hulsey said, he's not normally one to walk away from anything, at his doctor's urging, he decided to resign a year and eight months shy of his term.

"Can't sit in a chair for more than 15-20 minutes with my feet beginning to swell," he said. "I have heart disease and other things. The doctor says I need to take some time and enjoy the rest of my life."

Hulsey added that he hopes to keep some promises made to Lois, his wife of 27 years.

"We're hoping ... to go to Alaska this summer," he said. "When we got married, she had never travelled outside of Washington. Now we've gone to every state west of the Mississippi, except Alaska, Hawaii and Arkansas. I also hope to go back to Ohio and visit my daughter. Just put my feet up and relax, maybe do some fishing here or there."

Although he'll be out of public service officially, he's still up for lending a helping hand if needed.

"I'll still be there to help my neighbors if they ever need it," he said.

The Pacific City Council appoints a new council person to finish Hulsey's term at the May 12 regularly scheduled meeting.

The council interviews four candidates for the job, including Katie Garberding, Howard Gustafson, Michael Hollenback and Richard Woodall at the May 5 workshop.

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