Danville city manager plans to start in March

February 11, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

He may still live 433 miles away, but Darrell Blenniss has already started to make Danville his home.

The recently hired city manager was in town Monday looking for a place for he and his family to live, and then spent the day with the mayor and city staff.

Blenniss plans to officially begin the first week in March.

"I can't wait to get here," he said.

The 32-year-old said knowledge of city finances are one of his strongest assets. As an assistant city manager in Grayslake, Ill., Blenniss built a computer model of the city's eight-year financial forecast.

The tool helped the village board there assess how their policy decisions affected the city's finances. For example, if they wanted to consider hiring two new police officers, he could plug it into the model and see how that would affect the village's budget. Blenniss said the model also helped the staff stay on top of the numbers, something he sees as an important job for city manager.


Blenniss said he would be sad to bid farewell to the folks in his suburban Chicago home, but he is excited to get back to Kentucky.

He and his wife, Cheri, both attended the University of Louisville, and she had an internship at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center. Blenniss said that she enjoyed Danville so much that they decided he should submit his application for the job.

Both of the couple have family in Louisville, and Blenniss said they wanted to get closer to them. They have three sons: Ethan, 3, Zachary, 2, and newborn Nolan.

Blenniss said that he sees a lot of similarities between Danville and Grayslake, Ill. Everybody knows everybody, and both are said to be great places to raise a family, he said.

"The word is out, Danville is a great place to be," he said.

Blenniss will fill the position left vacant when former City Manager Steve Biven resigned under pressure from a faction of the City Commission.

Bridgette Milby, who was a candidate for the job and has acted as interim city manager, will reassume her position as assistant city manager when Blenniss begins.

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