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This profile was last updated on 9/9/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

City Manager

Local Address:  Ashland , Kentucky , United States
City of Ashland Kentucky

Employment History

  • Senior Management Analyst
    City of Casa Grande, AZ
  • City Manager
  • Management Analyst
    Casa Grande
  • Member, City Manager's Office


  • master's degree , public administration
    Arizona State University
  • bachelor's degree , political science
    Brigham Young University
55 Total References
Web References
The city's largest tank, Deboard, ..., 2 Feb 2014 [cached]
The city's largest tank, Deboard, actually decreased in levels during the last 24 hours, Ashland City Manager Ben Bitter said Sunday.
The Hall Ridge tank, which was doing well on Saturday, had gone all the way to empty overnight, he said.
"We are particularly asking people to conserve any water use that isn't necessary or being frivolously used," Bitter said.
The frustrations of finding new line breaks has complicated the issue, he said, and the two breaks on Winchester Avenue at 39th and 43rd streets continue to be troublesome.
"We are bringing together all of our resources, looking at engineering maps and people who have been in the water business here a long time," Bitter said. "We need to figure out how to get pressure off these pipes. If you shut down the pipes entirely, the whole system would lose water. We're trying to do a work-around to shut off valves and isolate lines, but that has not proven successful."
Bitter said they are also talking to outside contractors for advice they may have about reducing the pressure on the lines. "We're waiting on that Golden Spike," he said.
Meanwhile, Ashland water customers continue to deal with low pressure or, in some cases, no water at all.
The Deboard tank, which is the largest, puts pressure on the entire system when it is low," Bitter said. "Because that tank is low and unable to fill to capacity, it is reducing pressure in the farther-out areas (in Boyd County)."
Workers also are dealing with the potential of a winter storm. Early estimates called for between 3 and 5 inches of snowfall overnight.
"The change in temperature is what really bothers us the most," Bitter said.
Bitter called for help from residents in potentially spotting leaks. They can call (606) 327-2008 and leave a message or call the water plant at (606) 327-2058.
"If you see water flowing down the road, call us," he said.
Also, Bitter has called in former City Manager Steve Corbitt for assistance.
Ashland city manager Benjamin ..., 12 Jan 2014 [cached]
Ashland city manager Benjamin Bitter.
ASHLAND - Benjamin Bitter says there were a number of factors that caused him to look favorably upon Ashland when he was researching the city to try to determine whether he wanted to apply for the city manager's job here.
But there was one in particular, he said, that jumped out at him.
The Ann Arbor, Mich., native had spent the previous several years in Arizona and said he was longing to get back to an area "where they have four seasons. In Arizona, they have two - summer and hotter than summer," he said.
Asked if the, no pun intended, bitterly cold weather of the past week had him rethinking his decision, Bitter said no, not in the slightest, and that he and his family were extremely happy here.
Bitter was hired in November by the board of city commissioners to replace Steve Corbitt, who retired after seven years in the position.
In fact, Bitter said the change had probably been more difficult for the city staff than for him because Ashland "has traditionally had long-serving city managers. With someone coming in from the outside, such as myself, it's been a new experience for them."
Bitter is Ashland's third city manager since William H. Fisher Jr. retired in 2006.
Bitter was employed as a senior management analyst with the city of Casa Grande, Ariz., prior to coming to Ashland. He said he learned about the pending vacancy here from his friend, Sean Baenziger of Colin Baenziger and Associates, the firm hired by the commission to assist in the search for Corbitt's successor.
The initial pool of 59 applicants for the city manager position was whittled down to eight finalists, but one withdrew from consideration and a second failed a background check. Bitter was chosen from the final pool of six.
Bitter said something else that prompted him to throw his hat in the ring for the position was the prominence of the health-care industry in both the city and the region.
At 31, Bitter is substantially younger than Ashland's city managers have traditionally been. However, he said it wasn't at all uncommon for people his age and younger to be employed as city managers, particularly in cities out West. In fact, he said the city manager he worked for in Casa Grande was 25 when he was hired for that job.
City manager is typically viewed as a "mid-career" position among government professionals, he said.
Working in a city manager's office, Bitter said, taught him a great deal about the role of a city manager and helped prepare him for his current job, he said.
One thing he said he learned very well was that it's the responsibility of a city manager to carry out policy, not to make it.
Bitter, who has a bachelor's degree in political science from Brigham Young University and a master's degree in public administration from Arizona State University, said it was his experience living in Chile while on a two-year Mormon mission that made him decide he wanted a career in government. Living in another country, he said, opened his eyes to how government can affect peoples' lives, for better and for worse.
Bitter lived in the Chilean city of Maipu (pronounced my-POO.)?His first day there, he said, he was caught in a torrential rainstorm and water was flowing in the streets "basically like a river."
He said he couldn't understand why no one from the city came to try and correct the situation and "why my brand-new suit had to get ruined the first day I was there."
Bitter said he likes to joke that he has worked his way backwards, from federal government to local, "but that's where I like it. The local level is where government works best," he said.
Bitter wasn't first choice of at least some of the city commission members to replace Corbitt, and one commissioner, Kevin Gunderson, voted against hiring him to the $110,000-a-year position.
However, Bitter said there been no lingering animosity between him and any of the commissioners and that he'd found all of them, and Mayor Chuck Charles, to be great to work with.
Bitter said his main goal as city manager was to help Ashland achieve its full potential and become a "role model" for other cities in the region. To do that, he said he believes the city needs to capitalize on its position as a regional health care, retail and entertainment hub.
"We're already on our way in that we have more jobs in the city than we do people who live here," he said.
Bitter said raising two young daughters doesn't leave him much time for hobbies, but that he does enjoy watching sports in his spare time. He's a life-long NASCAR fan, thanks, he said, to his father working for Ford, and said his all-time hero is driver Davey Allison, who was killed in a helicopter crash in 1993.
Bitter said he got to meet Allison several times as a child "and he was always so gracious. I just saw him as someone to model my life after."
Bitter's office is decorated with several diecast replicas of Allison's Ford Thunderbird race cars, as well as a print depicting Allison and Alan Kulwicki, who edged Allison out for the 1992 NASCAR?title and who was killed in a plane crash the same year as Allison.
Benjamin Bitter says there were a number of factors that caused him to look favorably upon Ashland when he was researching the city to try to determine whether he wanted to apply for the city manager's job here.
At a press conference at 3 ..., 2 Feb 2014 [cached]
At a press conference at 3 p.m. Sunday, Ashland city manager, Ben Bitter, with Ashland mayor Chuck Charles also attending, said city crews were still dealing with six active transmission line breaks, and additional line breaks from Saturday.
 Bitter said the sudden warming and then freezing was to blame, and that multiple three-to-five-man crews were out on the job Sunday working on the multiple breaks that still has an estimated 4,000 folks without water, up from Saturday's total of about 3,000 customers but down from about 7,000 affected customers at the peak of the outage.
Bitter said they feel like that baseball player who's rounded third but can't make it home - at least not on this play.
Bitter will update the press at both 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday about the on-going situation.
A boil water advisory was in ..., 25 Feb 2015 [cached]
A boil water advisory was in effect for customers south of Blackburn Avenue and west of Belmont Avenue, said Ashland City Manager Ben Bitter.
"We have found some breaks, but haven't been able to find others," Bitter said. "We have extra staff out working on leaks."
The Ashland water system has had to limit outside customers like Cannonsburg Water District to normal amounts due to leaks within Ashland. The water plant produces about 11 million gallons per day in the winter, Bitter said.
City manager Ben Bitter said ..., 13 Feb 2015 [cached]
City manager Ben Bitter said only $102,000 of the expenditures could be accounted for and auditors noted the irregularities in their final report last month on city finances.
Bitter said police, city officials and the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General were collaborating in the investigation.
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