O'Fallon Progress

O’Fallon mayor praises longtime alderman who stepped down

City of O’Fallon Mayor Gary Graham
City of O’Fallon Mayor Gary Graham

At the Sept. 19 City Council Meeting, the O’Fallon City Council lost a familiar face, albeit to a happy farewell and a standing ovation. Ward 5 Alderman Mike Bennett resigned his position on the O’Fallon City Council after 7,813 days of serving the residents of O’Fallon. Mike will soon be getting married and starting a new chapter in his life, we all wish him the best.

Alderman Bennett will be missed on the City Council. His knowledge, experience, leadership, and vision as alderman, and chair of the finance committee, helped shape O’Fallon into the great community that it is today.

During his farewell speech, Mike reflected on his 21 years as alderman. One of the most powerful comments he made has stuck with me since, “What has happened in O’Fallon over the last 20 years is nothing short of amazing.”

Alderman Bennett is correct, what has happened over the past 20 years in O’Fallon is nothing short of Amazing. I may be biased, but I know that O’Fallon has become the best community around.

This year, the City of O’Fallon conducted the National Citizen Survey and the results were phenomenal. How residents rate their overall quality of life is an indicator of the overall health of a community. In the case of O’Fallon, 95 percent of residents rate this community as an excellent or good place to live.

O’Fallon is great, but the job is not yet done. We know that it can still be better, and the O’Fallon City Council and I have a lot of work yet to do.

During his farewell address, Alderman Bennett praised the residents of O’Fallon, city staff, and O’Fallon’s elected officials.

Mike was very kind to me in his farewell speech. But, I must remind everyone that a mayor is only as good as the City Council. O’Fallon has been successful, in small part, because we have been fortunate enough to have a City Council that is passionate, cares deeply about the city and O’Fallon’s residents, and can think “big picture” about O’Fallon’s future.

O’Fallon’s bright future is yet another example of why O’Fallon is such a great community in which to live.