- Bill DiPaolo Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Matt Benoit, city manager of Huntsville, Texas, was tentatively named as the new town manager for Jupiter on Thursday night.
The Jupiter town council voted unanimously to negotiate a salary and benefit package with Benoit, 43, a native of Denver.
If an agreement is reached, that will come back to the Jupiter town council for a final vote.
Jupiter’s former town manager Andy Lukasik’s annual salary was about $180,000. Lukasik, who began as Jupiter town manager in 2004, left in March to become village manager of North Palm Beach.
Benoit’s base pay in Huntsville is about $164,000.
Benoit said a visit to Jupiter for the job clinched his desire to take the position.
“The neighborhoods, the schools — everything we saw exceeded our expectations,” Benoit said when reached Thursday night in Huntsville.
Benoit and his wife Micki, a speech therapist, have a son, Garrett, 14, and a daughter Madie, 17.
His hobbies are watching his kids play sports, fishing and exercise.
“I’m a big Denver Broncos fan,” he said.
Included in his resume, Benoit wrote to Jupiter that he was a listener:
“Specifically, I don’t often tell people how to do their jobs. Rather, I ask questions and try to encourage favorable outcomes. I am not one to hold information close to my chest. I share information consistently with the City Council and with City staff so that everyone can make well-informed decisions.”
Benoit told the Huntsville city council in September he was seeking the Jupiter position.
Benoit, who is still employed as city manager of Huntsville, was not in attendance Thursday night.
Huntsville is an inland southeast Texas city of about 39,000. Jupiter has about 64,000 residents. Huntsville’s annual operating budget is about $70 million, less than Jupiter’s $90 million operating budget.
Huntsville has about 280 employees, about 100 less than Jupiter.
Before his job as Huntsville city manager, Benoit was assistant city manager in Farmers Branch Texas, for three years. Benoit also held assistant and city manager positions in Wichita Falls, Texas and Herington, Kansas.
Benoit, a Denver native, has a master’s degree in public administration from Kansas State University. He has a bachelor’s degree in history/political science from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas.