Hoquiam City Council picks new Ward 4 councilor

Almost two months after Al Dick resigned from his Hoquiam City Council Ward 4 position, the city has found the person to take the job.

His name should be familiar. Greg Larsen, who co-owns the popular Buddy Moo’s Ice Cream shop — 501 Simpson Ave., in Hoquiam — with his brother Shawn Larsen, will take the oath for the city’s Ward 4 councilor role at Hoquiam City Council’s next meeting on Monday, April 24.

Larsen, who received six Hoquiam City Council votes that won him the role, went up Monday night against three other candidates — Maxwell Davis, Angie Silvan and Joseph Brand. The city council was prepared to vote again if needed, but after about 12 minutes in executive session, the council approved Larsen — who only needed one roll call vote to win.

Steven Puvogel, Hoquiam’s city council president, said the city is lucky to have Larsen join the city council.

“We’re really excited to get Greg Larsen onto the council,” Puvogel said. “He’s gonna make a great council member. He has a lot of experience in the real estate business and military. That’s gonna be really helpful, too.”

Larsen spoke about how he’s lived in Grays Harbor County for nearly his entire life — he’s lived here since he was a toddler. He went to school in the area, and he served in the military after high school.

While he didn’t think he’d come back to Grays Harbor, he did. Recently, he’s taken an interest in official city work, because on March 24, he put his name in the running for the city council vacancy with a letter to the city.

In Larsen’s letter that explains why he’s the right choice to take the Ward 4 councilor position, he leaned heavy on his professional experience and his academic achievements.

He’s worked in local and state agencies, in planning and development in data management and analysis, in customer outreach and coordination, and in consultation with a wide variety of local, state, federal and private stakeholders.

Often, city council members are tasked with getting to know Revised Codes of Washington (RCW). It seems as though Larsen has an advantage there.

“I also have experience working within the set of RCWs and (Washington Administrative Code) of Washington state,” Larsen wrote. “In addition to these skills, I also have over 30-plus years of working in property acquisition, development and management.”

Larsen has a variety of academic degrees, including a master’s degree in public administration.

He explained how he’s adept at working in “high-stress situations and environments with multiple levels of responsibility.” He championed his ability to work independently or under direct supervision, as well as doing so in a timely manner.

Mayor Ben Winkelman noted the significance of the four candidates for the position.

“It’s not often we have four qualified candidates looking to fill a vacancy,” Winkelman said.

Puvogel said it’s good for the city to receive so many candidates for a council position.

“We were very fortunate to have four candidates, all of which are qualified and would have made great contributions,” Puvogel said.

It’s evident Larsen has to fill some pretty big shoes. Shay described back in February how Dick gave “tremendously to the city.”

Winkelman also thanked Larsen, and the other three “qualified” candidates, for applying.

“It would be nice to see all your names all on the ballot because you all bring something kind of unique to the city council,” Winkelman said. “And it’s not often that we have four qualified candidates looking to fill a vacancy. So, thank you very much for your interest and hopefully we can work with you as well.”

Hoquiam City Administrator Brian Shay provided a brief comment on Larsen’s addition to the city council.

“It’s great to have a downtown family business owner joining the council,” Shay said. “He will bring valuable perspective on our downtown revitalization efforts.”

Larsen just wants to help represent the city he’s called home for most of his life.

“That’s the most important thing, is to kind of get involved,” Larsen said.