Longtime city employee named Blaine planning director


Alex Wenger, formerly the city of Blaine’s tourism and economic development coordinator, has stepped into the role of planning director.

Blaine City Council unanimously authorized city manager Mike Harmon to hire Wenger as director of the Community Development Services Department during its October 23 meeting. Wenger is also listed as the interim building official on the city’s website. 

According to his contract with the city, Wenger will earn nearly $141,000 annually with a five percent deferred compensation. He will also have 26 vacation days and 12 sick days plus 12 paid holidays.

Wenger has spent two decades working for the city, first as an intern from Western Washington University working on maps in the planning department. He was hired as a GIS technician, and then spent about 15 years working as a city planner. About five years ago, he started as the tourism and economic development coordinator, which he worked until becoming director and will continue some of its duties (city council is anticipated to eliminate the position as part of budget cuts in 2024).

Wenger is also the treasurer of the Planning Association of Washington, and has spent two terms as president.

He will be leading the department during a time when it is understaffed by three of its six employees. Wenger’s first day in the new position was October 24.

Wenger said he looked forward to guiding the city into the future, which will include work on the 2025 comprehensive plan and the ad-hoc downtown advisory committee’s zoning recommendations expected to soon be brought before planning commission. 

“I really love Blaine,” Wenger said of the city where he is rearing his family. “I’m excited to serve the community. It’s time to roll up my sleeves and get some things done.”


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