PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The city of Presque Isle will soon be looking for a new leader now that City Manager Jim Bennett announced Wednesday that he will resign from the job effective Aug. 15.
Bennett, 54, said that he is resigning from his position with “mixed emotions” to become city manager in Biddeford, which is closer to family and friends.
Bennett, who has served as city manager of Presque Isle since 2010, is originally from Lisbon. He became a selectman there at 21, according to the city website, and has managed seven Maine communities including Dixfield, New Gloucester and Old Orchard Beach, and he was city administrator for Westbrook and Lewiston. Before his management job in Presque Isle, he served as interim town manager in Sabattus.
Bennett has spoken in the past about his desire to return to his “roots” in southern Maine.
In 2014, he was a finalist for the town manager position in Brunswick but ultimately was not chosen.
Bennett credited his staff and elected officials with helping him to move the city forward over the last five years, as well as various community members.
“I am pleased with the number of the accomplishments that we have been able to achieve,” he said.
Bennett listed among those accomplishments as helping to advance the Presque Isle Community Center Project, resolving the salary and wage issues that plagued the community for more than a decade, increasing the viability of the downtown despite the downturn in the economy, creating a public market in the downtown and updating the library.
Bennett also helped to ink a deal in which residents of the city shared the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s in-ground pool, allowing the city to tear down its own pool and save about $100,000 per year.
According to The Portland Press Herald, Bennett will be given a three-year contract that becomes effective on Aug. 17. He will be paid at an annual rate of $117,000 for his first six months on the job and at a rate of $121,000 a year thereafter. He replaces outgoing manager John Bubier, who is stepping down after 10 years at the post.