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Owensboro City Manager announces plans to retire

After working for the City of Owensboro for 17 years, City Manager Bill Parrish is retiring.

Mayor Tom Watson made the announcement Wednesday morning after Parrish told the Board of Commissioners in a closed session Tuesday night.

Parrish was selected for the City Manager position in December 2007. The hiring process and search to fill the position begins immediately.

Parrish's retirement will go into effect on July 31.

Parrish began working for the City of Owensboro in August 2001 as the Sanitation Director after 24 years in the United States Marine Corps where he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.

"I'm of the age where it’s time to consider retiring, and it absolutely makes sense,” Parrish said.


17 years with the city, nearly 11 as city manager, all ending in just a few months.


"I hate to see him go,” says Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson.


Parrish says he's proud of helping form the city's future and helping revitalize downtown.


"I can remember driving across that Blue Bridge in 2001, looking left and right at downtown, and thinking, ‘I'm not sure this is where I want to be’, but ultimately decided this is where I want to me and saw it change over the years. it's an incredible change in downtown,” Parrish recalled.


"Everything he's done he's done 110%. He has such a presence in the room. When he gives you a brief, there is nothing less to worry about,” adds Mayor Watson. He adds city staff will look for a city manager who can provide leadership, understands budgets, and someone who's a motivator. Parrish says he'll miss the people he served, and served with.


"They're invested in this community,” Parrish says, describing other city workers. “They're invested in this area. They want to do the best they can. Those people made my life easy."


Mayor Watson also says a search for Parrish's replacement will start immediately. 


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(This story was originally published on May 2, 2018)

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