Meet the Members

Mayor Dan Agnew

Dan Agnew, Mayor


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Current term expires 12/31/19

Dan retired in 2010 after spending 40 years with Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, including 19 as President and CEO. He was inducted into the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame in 2009.

Dan has been very involved in the community serving as a board member of Grinnell United Way, Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Grinnell Boy Scouts, Poweshiek/Interstate 80 Economic Development group, Greater Grinnell Development Corporation, and Grinnell Chamber of Commerce. He also assisted with the Grinnell Mutual /Grinnell Middle School Partners-in-Education program and has coached many youth sports teams. Dan, a member of Grinnell Lions Club since 1973, has served as a board member and president and is currently a member of the relay team transporting cornea eye tissue between Ames/Des Moines and the Iowa City eye bank. 

After graduating from Grinnell High School, Dan attended the University of Northern Iowa on a football scholarship where he graduated with a degree in Education and spent his first two years teaching and coaching in Newton, Iowa before joining Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.

Dan and his wife Nancy have two children, Chad and Heather, and four grandchildren, William, Matthew, Kaden and Kameron. Dan and Nancy are very engaged in spending time with their family. 
Council Member Julie Hansen

Julie Hansen, First Ward


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Current term expires 12/31/21

Julie Hansen moved to Grinnell in 1981. She is a graduate of Grinnell High School, class of 1991. She received an Associate's Degree in Computer Science from Marshalltown Community College and a Bachelor's Degree in Criminology from Buena Vista University. She is currently a Senior Claims Adjuster at Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company and has several part-time jobs.

Julie's daughter, Ashley, is also a graduate of Grinnell High School, Class of 2013. She is attending the University of Northern Iowa.

Julie's first experience in public service was a position with the Grinnell Police Department as a reserve police officer. Her passion for public safety and love of this community influenced her decision to run for city council. She graduated from the Poweshiek Leadership Program in 2012 and served as president of the GHS Alumni Board from 2008-2012.

In her free time, Julie enjoys spending time with her two dogs, scrapbooking, golfing, bowling, and working on her home
Council Member Rachel Bly

Rachel Bly, Third Ward


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Current term expires 12/31/21

Rachel Bly grew up in Mt. Vernon, Iowa and came to Grinnell in 1989 to attend Grinnell College. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science she spent some time in Washington, DC before returning to the Grinnell area. She is currently the director of conference operations and events at Grinnell College.

Rachel has a master's degree in public administration and has always had a love of politics and policy. Rachel has served on many local boards including the Grinnell Community Day Care and Preschool Board, the Library Board, Renaissance Board, and League of Women Voters. She is involved in TTT, PEO, Poweshiek County Democrats, and lots of activities with her family.

Rachel lives in a downtown loft with her husband Bob Hamilton, son Davis, and two cats. 
Council Member Jim White

Jim White, At Large


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Current term expires 12/31/21

Jim White has been on the council since January of 1986 and before that he served on the planning and zoning board. He and his wife Marcia have three children. He has been president of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Rotary Club, and a board member of Grinnell 2000.

With his church, St. Mary's Catholic, he is a former trustee and has been a member of third degree Knights of Columbus and also fourth degree Knights of Columbus, as well as the Elks Club and the Eagles here in Grinnell. He is employed by Bates by Design Flowers on 4th Avenue in Grinnell. 
Council Member Sondra Burnell
Sondra Burnell, Fourth Ward
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Current term expires 12/31/19

Raised on a farm west of Grinnell, Sondi Burnell is a lifelong resident committed to the challenges facing Grinnell’s broad based constituents. Along with her husband, Loren, they endeavor to raise their three children: Sarah, Lisa, and Scott. Sondi’s passion for public service emerged, even more so into politics as her first child entered into elementary school. This experience influenced her desire to understand the educational system and she was further enticed by politics, policy, and procedures. After attending a professional development class, Poweshiek Leadership Program 2008-2009, she discovered the profound necessity of collaborative leadership within government entities and how effective teamwork can obtain the greater good for the citizens it governs. Believing the town of Grinnell is truly enriched with very intelligent, passionate, and dedicated citizens; Sondi is devoted to preserving Grinnell as a safe and prosperous place to live.

Sondi has been involved in the Transportation Museum Focus Group, Parent Counseling Advisory Committee, Grinnell-Newburg Focus Group for a new superintendent, Grinnell High School Parent Advisory Committee, District ICC Leadership Team to develop the Iowa Core Curriculum in Grinnell, and multiple committees for her employer, Grinnell College.
Council Member Jo Wray
Jo Wray, Second Ward
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Current term expires 12/31/19

Jo grew up on a farm south of Grinnell. She is a graduate of Grinnell High School and is a life long resident of Poweshiek County. In 1979 she began her career as Poweshiek County auditor retiring in December 2006. The Grinnell City Council appointed Wray in September 2010 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Steve Witt. She was elected to the position in November of 2010 and ran unopposed.  Jo had served on the Grinnell Public Safety Task Force Committee. Jo is a life long member of the Grinnell United Methodist Church. She also belongs to the Drummond Club, the Tuesday Club, the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, and the Grinnell Tiger Athletic Boosters.

Jo and her husband, Larry, reside in Grinnell. Their son and two grandchildren also reside in Grinnell. 
Council Member Byron Hueftle-Worley
Byron Hueftle-Worley, At Large 
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Current term expires 12/31/19

Byron has been a Grinnellian for over forty years. He is a graduate of Grinnell High School and the University of Iowa and attended Grinnell College for two years. He served in the United States Army for nine years with tours of duty in Europe and the Middle East.

Byron is the owner of Worley's Woodworking where he makes hand crafted custom furniture and reproduction millwork. He has been a council member since January of 2000.