Mayor Bennett grew up on the Southwest side of Chicago, one of 13 siblings.
He attended St. Nicholas of Tolentine Grammar School, Brother Rice High School,
Lewis University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Jerry and his wife
Chris were married in 1970 and lived for a short time in the Beverly neighborhood
of Chicago before moving to Palos Hills in 1972. The Bennett’s have three
daughters: Sara (Ed) Amendola, Rebecca (Michael) Leone, Kristen (Jonah) Dofert
and six grandchildren.
In 1979 the Mayor was first elected to the office of Alderman from the 2nd Ward.
In 1981, at the age of 30, Alderman Bennett was elected to Mayor of the City of
Palos Hills and is currently serving his ninth term. Besides the part-time/full-time
position of Mayor, Jerry is president of Bennett Dental Labs, Inc. located in Palos
Hills. He has been in business for 40 years.
Under Mayor Bennett’s leadership for the past 32 years, he has led the City
of Palos Hills through a complete transformation into a modern, progressive community
that is a model to all southwest suburban towns.
Mayor Bennett has devoted many additional volunteer hours by serving as founder and
President of the Southwest Conference of Mayors for the last 31 years.
He is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Southwest Central Dispatch (an
intergovernmental police and fire 911 service) for the last 28 years. In 2003 Mayor
Bennett was elected Chairman of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and
continues to serve on the Executive Board Committee. He presently serves as past
President of the Illinois Municipal League, and is also on the Board
of Directors. He also is the Chairman of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for
Planning (CMAP), a regional planning board. In 2008 Mayor Bennett became
co-Chairman of the Mayors’ Caucus 2016 Olympic Regional Committee.
During Mayor Bennett’s 32 years in office, he has been an outspoken advocate
for uniting cities and villages to speak as one voice in legislative action with both
our congressional and state legislators. He has worked behind the scenes in forming and
creating multi-governmental organizations that have benefited cities and villages not
only in the southwest suburban area but, in metro and state regions. Besides the many
major governmental organizations in both state and regional areas, Mayor Bennett has
been asked to serve and has participated in numerous task forces, committees and panels
regarding all aspects of governmental services. He has also been a guest lecturer on
Public Administration at three major graduate universities in the Chicagoland area.
Through his leadership Mayor Bennett has been recognized as a true voice for the mayors
across metro Chicago and throughout the State of Illinois.