A lifelong resident of Maine, Jim Bennett grew up in the Town of Lisbon. Serving first as a Lisbon Selectman at the early age of 21, Jim has been actively involved in public administration since 1982. In addition to serving as an elected town official, he has managed eight Maine municipalities, ranging from a small community of 2,500 up to the 2nd largest city within the State. Most recently, he served as the City Manager for Presque Isle, Maine (population 9,741) from 2010 to 2015.
Throughout his career, Jim has developed a reputation of successfully assisting communities improve their image and the pride citizens have in their communities. He has also focused on ways to effectively assist communities facing varying degrees of financial challenges, having written and implemented multiple successful financial recovery plans. In the most challenged municipality, Jim assumed the administration of a community with an $850,000 deficit undesignated fund balance (1/8th of the annual budget). Due to Jim's foresight and leadership, the community's financial stability made a complete turn-around within one year.
Jim's contributions also include the development of several restructuring plans, facilitation and implementation of community vision and goal setting initiatives, and development of strategic plans and downtown revitalization efforts.
In addition, Jim has been recognized by the International City and County Management Association (ICMA) for outstanding programs:
In 2002, for Westbrook's Strategic Plan
In 2006, for Lewiston's Southern Gateway Project;
In 2008 for Lewiston's cost-saving Health Care Management by Prevention.
He was also designated the 2003 Manager of the Year by the Maine Town and City Management Association (MTCMA) and received the 2006 Public Service Leadership Award from the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce.
Memberships & Leadership
Jim is the Past President of both the International City and County Management Association (2014 to 2015) and the Maine Town and City Management Association (1998 to 1999). He previously served as one of ICMA's eighteen Vice-Presidents (2008 to 2011) representing the Northeast region (consisting of Washington DC, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and all six of the New England States). After serving a couple of terms on Maine Municipal Associations Executive Committee (1992-1996 and 2018-2020), he currently serves as the Association's Vice-President and will serve as the President in 2022. He has served in a number of other leadership roles throughout his career as well.
Jim has served as the Town/City Manager for the communities of:
City of Presque Isle, Maine (2010-2015, pop. 9,106)
Interim Town Manager for Sabattus, Maine (2009 to 2010, pop. 5,002)
City of Lewiston (2002 to 2009, pop. 35,690)
City of Westbrook, Maine (1997 to 2002, pop. 16,142)
Old Orchard Beach, Maine (1990 to 1997, pop. 7,663)
New Gloucester, Maine (1988 to 1990, pop. 4,336)
Dixfield, Maine (1986 to 1988, pop. 2,510)
Jim began his career serving the Town of Lisbon an elected selectman from 1982 to 1986 serving a population of 9,608.
Instructor & Facilitator
Jim developed and instructed Cash Management for Municipalities and co-developed and instructs Maine Municipal Association (MMA) Basic Budgeting. He is considered a Legacy Leader by ICMA for his work as a facilitator for ICMA's Emerging Leaders Development Program.
He has previously served as an Adjunct Professor at University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service and in the past for Andover College in the Business Department.
Jim is married to the former Deb Hagan of Brunswick and they have two adult children, Mitchell & Amanda. An avid golfer, he also enjoys riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and snowmobiling. He is active in the Masons and the Shriners including participating as a member of the Clown Unit as "GINJO" the Klown and as well as part of the Kora Shrine leadership.