Prairie Village City Administrator Quinn Bennion will be leaving his job leading the city’s professional staff after a nearly decade in the role.
The city council of Vernal, Utah, this week approved the hiring of Bennion as its next city manager. The move will represent a return home for Bennion, who was raised in the Vernal area, which sits about 35 miles west of the Colorado border in northeast Utah. Bennion attended college at Utah State University in Logan before going on to get his Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas. He served as city administration roles in Merriam from 1997 to 2007, when he replaced the retiring Barbara Vernon as Prairie Village city administrator. With a population of just under 11,000, Vernal is about half the size of Prairie Village.
Bennion said the decision to accept the position had been difficult, but that a number of circumstances made the chance to head home too appealing to reject.
“We’re going to miss all of the connections we have here, and all the great people that are part of the city,” Bennion said.
Bennion will stay on with Prairie Village through VillageFest in early July and will start his new position in Utah immediately thereafter.
Bennion’s tenure with the city has seen it navigate a number of major changes and opportunities, from the closure of Mission Valley Middle School in 2011 and the subsequent plans for redevelopment on the site to the creation of a new county park on the site of the former Meadowbrook Country Club property.
Prairie Village Mayor Laura Wassmer said Bennion will leave big shoes to fill.
“It has been a privilege to work with Quinn for the past 9-plus years,” she said. “Quinn has been instrumental in the overall success of our City and our biggest projects including the redevelopment of our shopping centers and the Meadowbrook redevelopment. Quinn’s expertise, diplomacy, integrity, and passion for Prairie Village will be greatly missed.”
Wassmer said she intends to announce the plans for selecting a new city administrator at the June 19 city council meeting.