Jay Bennett is currently the City of Zanesville’s public service and former community development director. From 2001 to 2003, he acted as city administrator for Oakridge, Oregon where he transformed the city from one with a failing economy to one with a focus on small scale manufacturing, recreation, and tourism. After leaving Oakridge, Jay transferred to the private sector, working as an enterprise development director for the nonprofit Diversified Resources on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.
In 2006, he returned to a public position as community development and public works director in Pacific, Washington. He implemented a strategy to combine the small city with an adjoining city through an ILA that led to Pacific being designated as a Manufacturing Industrial Center awarded through the Puget Sound Regional Council, allowing them to get more points and attention with their proposals. In 2012, he was hired as community service manager in Federal Way, Washington. In this position, Jay established the city’s direct-entitlement community development block grant program, resulting in the ability of the city to receive more federal dollars than before.
Jay is looking forward to starting his new career in January 2020, as a consultant through a nonprofit, helping rural communities in Southeastern Ohio develop better access to technology and broadband in Southeastern Ohio.