SIDNEY — Darryl Thurber, former second-ward Sidney City Council member, powered-down his city-issued tablet for the last time upon the expiration of his term on Nov. 30, 2021.
After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for much of his adult life, and later serving the city of Sidney, Thurber said he is ready for time with his wife Danielle. He also is employed full-time as an area manager at Plastipak in Jackson Center. Although a native of Wisconsin, he has resided in Sidney for the past 22 years and boasts of being proud to be part of Sidney.
“There were several things that were the deciding factor. One, is that I wanted to free up a little bit more of my time, because I do take care of my wife (who suffers with Multiple Sclerosis) — and we kind of like each other,” Thurber said with a chuckle, along with one from Danielle in the background, when asked why he did not run again for council. “So, we like to be around each other, and it was taking away from her time, my time and our time.
“I was in the Marine Corps before this and pretty much my whole adult life have done nothing more than public service, so I figured it was just time to finish up my career, and start getting ready for retirement and make the transition. — And actually be a little bit selfish for me and my family,” he continued.
Thurber first joined the Sidney City Council when he was appointed to fulfill the term of a seat that had not yet expired nearly six and a half years ago on July 27, 2015. He then ran for the second ward seat in the November 2017 election and won the seat.
During his time on City Council, numerous senior city staff members have retired and their successors have been hired, from the city manager, assistant city manager/public works director, law director, fire chief, and human resources manager to the finance officer. Thurber also underwent a personal battle with stage four throat cancer, for which he endured two surgeries, and now “thankfully,” he said, has been cancer-free for three years.
“This past year we have done an extreme amount of special council meetings to try to figure out who we are going to hire for the two positions (city manager and law director) and all of that; so it was quiet taxing,” Thurber said.
“It is bittersweet (to be leaving), it really is. But the happy part is I will get to spend more time with the family and not as much stress that comes along with some of that. That is the sweet part. But the bitterness is, yeah, I wont be involved in public service and city planning, future, any of that, so that is the bitter part,” he continued.
Aside from establishing an additional water source for the city and passing the street levy, Thurber said he feels most proud of the revitalization efforts in the downtown, including saving the Ohio Building, the creation of the DORA, the progress of Sidney Alive and Sidney’s rebranding. He is also proud to have helped the county and the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation (SCARF) raise money to fund a new animal shelter outside of town. He is disappointed the Ohio Building has not come further along in its refurbishment before leaving council, and also with the failure of the fire levy.
“(The fire levy not passing) is one that I am disappointed and heartbroken over. That is one is very near and dear to me because that is my ward. That ward is expanding as we speak. And we had problems with response times, and things of that nature before, and we had to reach out to other departments outside the city, and I really thought that would go through,” Thurber said.
The Sidney City Council commended Thurber during his last meeting as a council member and presented him with a copy of the resolution council adopted that evening on Nov. 22, 2021, for his service to the city. Previous Mayor Mike Barhorst praised Thurber for his dedicated service to the city, and on behalf of City Council extended his sincere appreciation for his good work.
“When I first applied for (the open council seat position), I believed I was going into it to make a difference,” Thurber explained of when his brother Ron Thurber encouraged him to apply. “I was striving to represent my area and the citizens there. I had no agenda that I wanted specifically done, other than I knew I wanted to continue on with public service.
“In essence, I tell Ron this all the time, this is his fault. He told me to go for it, and I decided to put in for it,” he continued, with a laugh. “I think, overall, I helped to make a difference. There is room to make more of a difference, and I encourage people to get involved, not just with serving on public service postions, but also by going to the meetings.”