James A. Bennett, Biddeford, Maine City Manager was sworn in as Maine Municipal Association’s 2022 President on September 30 at its 85th Annual Conference held in Augusta, Maine. Bennett started his municipal career in 1982 being elected as a member of the Board of Selectpersons from his hometown of Lisbon. He was re-elected in 1985. In February 1986, Bennett assumed his first Town Manager job for the Town of Dixfield, Maine, where he served for two years. Over his career, he went on to serve as the Town (City) Manager (Administrator) for the Towns (Cities) of New Gloucester, Old Orchard Beach, Westbrook, Lewiston, Sabattus, and Presque Isle. He has served as Biddeford’s City Manager since 2015.
Bennett reminded those in attendance that residents always look to their local Town Hall for assistance when things go wrong. “If there is one thing that I can say with certainty, it would be that the pandemic has reminded every Maine resident of the value of good people at the local level doing great things. I know that every community has a story of how those involved at the local level, from the elected leadership, first responders, municipal staff and volunteers, found ways to make a difference for every neighbor,” stated Bennett.
“Everyone wants to be proud of their hometown and those that play a role in local government in Maine are trusted with that responsibility. I am so pleased that our association, MMA, is there to be the best most trusted resource to help local governments. To serve as its President comes with the responsibility to make sure that our members, those that serve at the local level, will continue to have that resource. It is a responsibility that I do not take lightly and one that I pledge to fulfill faithfully,” added Bennett.
Bennett added “Unfortunately, I have seen a few times during my forty-year career that some have tried to paint local government as something less. Everyone knows deep down that local government is critical in the lives our neighbors, it is there to make the everyday things we take for granted, it is there when things go bad and it is there when someone just needs a to talk with a caring person. MMA will be always be there to remind those that might want to change this reality of the truth.”
Bennett has served in numerous other leadership roles including Past President of the Maine Town, City and County Municipal Association and Past President of the International City/County Management Association. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a Master’s degree in Business Administration and undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Accounting from USM and Bentley College.
He is married to Deb (Hagan) Bennett of Brunswick and has two grown children Mitchell and Amanda both of Biddeford.
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