City of Fruita welcomes new city manager Michael Bennett
Michael Bennett, Fruita’s new city manager, has found a place to raise his family. He started his new position on Oct. 27, and he’s joined by his wife, Tara, along with three children.
“I’m thrilled to be here,” he said. “Fruita feels like home.”
As the son of a military officer, Bennett moved around a lot — crisscrossing the country, from Georgia and Texas to Alaska and Wyoming. Then he attended college in Utah, earning an undergraduate degree in the science in journalism and a master’s degree in public administration. Most recently, he worked for the city of Hickory, N.C.
According to Bennett, the benefit of living in so many places over the years is that he was able to identify the type of place where he hoped to settle down. And Fruita fit the bill.
“I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to live here,” Bennett said. “It has a small, unique town atmosphere unlike anywhere else.”
While he settles into his new position, Fruita’s new city manager hopes community members and business owners visit with him to share comments and concerns about their hometown.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
Management of Fruita will be business as usual: Bennett plans to continue with City Council’s plans to build off the community momentum; he will keep “core functions strong and expand on outlets already available in the city.”
“Fruita has great recreational outlets and there’s still opportunity for growth and innovation,” Bennett said. “It’s also a great mix of people that make it such a great place to live.”
Bennett also appreciates Fruita’s many events — including the Fruita Fat Tire Festival, Thursday Night Concert Series and more.
“Fruita has quality events that both residents and visitors can enjoy,” he said. “I want to see that continue and be able to build upon that.”
Other plans on Bennett’s wish list include connecting bike paths at Little Salt Wash Park to the new Riverfront Trail System Monument View section, and expanding Dinosaur Journey Museum as a joint partnership with John McConnell Math and Science Center (currently in Grand Junction). The City of Fruita also plans to seek grants meant to enhance its downtown area to help maintain the “life and personality” of the town.
City Council’s current mission to adopt a fiscally sound 2015 budget will help Fruita reach those goals, he added.
“My family and I love Fruita,” Bennett said. “I respect professionally the vision and direction the city council is heading.”
For more information, visit http://www.fruita.org.
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