By PAT PHILLIPS
DANVILLE — While Mayor Scott Eisenhauer would have liked to see an influx of new large business and industry come to town, he is still extremely happy about the amount of expansion by existing industries.
“I’m happy because with each expansion comes new-job creation and when a company decides to expand it is a display of support for our community and its workforce,” Eisenhauer said. “When you see a company who originally took a chance on Danville be successful and bring more and more lines into the area, it doesn’t necessarily grab a headline, but its effect can be more profound than new business.”
Eisenhauer believes that when the economy eventually comes around, other businesses will look at Danville and one of the reasons will be those that have expanded.
“Economic development is a puzzle and very few pieces of the puzzle are locally controlled,” he said. “In many cases, the regional or state pieces absolutely have to be there too. When a company does a national or international search, when they see our state in a state of flux, it makes a difference.”
A company’s decision to come to the area very often is not just based on land and workforce availability, but on tax and worker’s compensation structure too, he said.
“In addition to that, dollars we used to be able to count on, or at least be able to fight for at the state level, aren’t there any more.
“In tough economic times, businesses generally aren’t growing, they are downsizing and expansions are few and far between,” he said, “and though we’ve been lucky there, you have to figure out what you can count on and one thing we should be able to count on is tourism.”
Eisenhauer listed a litany of quality of life assets: museums, educational system, parks and recreation areas, the arts and accessibility to a lake.
“We have a fantastic opportunity to make these assets a bigger part of our economy. The very recent Walldogs mural event will generate interest not only in our own community, but from people who used to live here and people who simply want to come and see an art project of this scale,” Eisenhauer said of the building murals in the downtown. “I always get excited about events that draw people to our town — Arts in the Park, Civil War Days, the National Junior College Division I Championship, the Danville Dans.
“We are very blessed that a town with a population of 34,000 can have so many events and bring in people from outside the area,” he said. “I keep hearing how we have an aging population. I want people to retire here. We have a low cost of living, reasonably priced housing and a lot of amenities. People can live here twice as well for half the price.”
He considers retirees people to go after. They like events Danville has, as well as having several major cities less than an afternoon’s drive away.
“Economic development will take awhile, sure,” he said. “But, let’s not overlook those things that have been and continue to be successful here.
Danville government rundown
Danville uses a mayor-alderman form of government. The city is divided geographically into seven wards with two aldermen elected in each ward, on a non-partisan basis, creating a 14-member city council. The mayor is elected at-large, also on a non-partison basis, to a four-year term and serves full time; aldermen are elected within their wards to four-year terms and serve part time.
Full council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays. Subcommittees consist of seven aldermen, one from each ward, with Public Works on the second Tuesday and Public Services on the fourth Tuesday. All meetings are held at 6 p.m. in the lower level of the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building at 17 E. Main St.
Here´s a look at the city government:
Mayor: Scott Eisenhauer, city hall, 431-2400, email@example.com.
Public safety director: Larry Thomason, Public Safety Building, 2 E. South St., 431-2234.
Public works director: Doug Ahrens, public works facility, 1155 E. Voorhees St., 431-2267.
Engineer: R. David Schnelle, public works facility, 431-2384.
Public transportation director: Richard “Dick” Brazda, Danville Mass Transit, 101 N. Jackson, 431-0653.
Public development director: John Heckler, city hall, 431-2323.
Clerk: Janet K. Myers, city hall, 431-2304.
Treasurer: Lisa Monson, city hall, (B) 431-2303.
Comptroller: Gayle Brandon, city hall, (B) 431-2302.
Council members by ward:
1: DeMarko Wright, 508 Anderson St., (H) 443-6071, firstname.lastname@example.org.
1: Rickey Williams Jr., 607 W. Madison St., (H) 474-6333, email@example.com.
2: Rick Strebing, vice mayor, 404 Warrington Ave., (H) 443-0899, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2: Lois Cooper, 311 E. Third St., (H) 446-7058, email@example.com.
3: Dale Brandenburg, 76 Columbus St., (H) 446-6626, firstname.lastname@example.org.
3: William “Bill” Gilbert, 1200 Dakota St., (C) 304-6479, email@example.com.
4: Terry Baldwin, 2802 E. Williams St., (H) 442-3679, firstname.lastname@example.org.
4: Sharon McMahon, 3139 E. Main St., (H) 443-6939, email@example.com.
5: Jerry Askren, 1501 N. Walnut St., firstname.lastname@example.org.
5: Michael Puhr, 512 W. Woodlawn Ave., (H) 443-6034, email@example.com.
6: Jon Cooper, 1 E. Winter Ave., (H) 431-8191, firstname.lastname@example.org.
6: Steve Nichols, 12 W. Raymond Ave., (H) 446-2028, email@example.com.
7: Ronald Candido, 1 Shorewood Drive South, (H) 442-0269, firstname.lastname@example.org.
7: Steve Foster, 126 Lakeside Drive, (H) 442-0823, email@example.com.