PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — City Manager Jim Bennett was recently selected as president-elect of the International City/County Management Association or ICMA.
Bennett was chosen by the ICMA Executive Board at its May 30-June 2 meeting in Annapolis, Md. He will serve as president-elect for a one-year term commencing in September 2013 during the ICMA 99th annual conference in Boston. Bennett will assume the role of president of the organization the following year during its annual conference in Charlotte, N.C., when ICMA celebrates its 100th anniversary.
The association has nearly 9,500 members in 26 countries, including educators, students and other local government employees, according to its website. ICMA provides its members technical and management assistance, training and information resources. It also represents local government concerns in the public policy arena on a variety of topics.
“The role of the president,” Bennett explained, “is essentially in a couple of categories. The president presides over the meetings of the ICMA Executive Board — 21 members representing five regions in the U.S. and one international region. He/she approves agendas for the board meetings, presides at the annual conference opening session, business meeting and the closing session.”
In addition, the president serves as the principal contact between the ICMA staff for the board to oversee the work of the staff.
“The president serves as the face of ICMA to the membership and participates where needed — subject to availability — in dealing with membership-related issues,” said Bennett, “and works with the executive director to provide the strategic direction for the organization during the year of service.”
Bennett will be in a position to appoint members to all of the various committees and task forces as well as select the chairpersons for those committees.
“A lot of this work goes on during the year you serve as the president-elect,” noted Bennett.
Emily Smith, chair of Presque Isle’s City Council, said the councilors were “proud to hear of Jim’s selection as the next ICMA president. This is a tremendous honor, not only for him, but also for the city of Presque Isle, The County and for Maine.”
Bennett, who has been involved in municipal government for more than 30 years, has been an active member of ICMA since 1986. He’s served several stints on the organization’s conference planning committee and was named chairman in 2007. He has had several other roles with the organization as well, earning recognition and awards for his efforts. In 2008, he was elected to a three-year term on the ICMA executive board as one of three vice presidents from the organization’s Northeast region, which includes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and all six of the New England states.
Bennett said the role of president comes with promotional opportunities as well.
“In all cases when being introduced, I’ll also be identified as the city manager for the city of Presque Isle,” said Bennett, noting he’ll be able to share information about the community with ICMA members and looks forward to promoting the Star City and northern Maine.