High Point Mayor: Revitalization May Not Begin In Downtown Core
Bill Bencini was sworn in Monday as the mayor of High Point. Although new to the position, Bencini is a familiar face in local government.
He spent a decade on the city council and in 2010 was elected to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. He’s also a second-generation mayor – following in the footsteps of his father, who held the same seat in the early ‘70s.
Bencini spoke with WFDD’s Paul Garber about taking over as mayor at a time when there’s also new faces on the city council and a new manager, Gregory Demko, who begins next month.
"Sometimes it's better to have more transition than less," he says.
Bencini says revitalization can be tied to the broader picture of economic development. But it's not clear yet where that will happen in High Point.
"I'm not sure that downtown should be first," he says.
Bencini says the slow return of manufacturing to the city has been driven more by market factors than government policy, and he hopes to see that growth continue.
He adds that he was a young college student when his father became mayor and he didn't listen to him as much as he should have when the elder Bencini served. But he did realize that his father was a team builder.
"More than anything else the lesson I learned from my father is that he really believed in teamwork and cooperation," he says.