Murrieta City Council honors longtime Economic Development Director Bruce Coleman

Bruce Coleman, former Economic Development director for the city of Murrieta, shares a presentation on Murrieta as the “Future of Southern California” at the 2016 Murrieta Economic Outlook. Coleman has left the city to take a job outside of Dallas. Paul Bandong photo

Murrieta’s Economic Development director, Bruce Coleman, was honored with a proclamation at the city’s regular council meeting, Oct. 4.

Coleman has left the city of Murrieta to take a job as director of business development with the city of McKinney’s Economic Development Corporation in McKinney, Texas. His last day in Murrieta was Oct. 6.

Coleman has served Murrieta since 2008 and was instrumental in bringing various businesses to the city, including the Loma Linda University Medical Center Murrieta and the new CarMax dealership.

“I’ve worked in different cities, and this is the city I love the most,” Coleman said. “This is just a really exciting place. Murrieta has a great future.”

Coleman said he was honored to have served Murrieta, and local leaders have high praise for Coleman.

“There’s no one in the state that gets economic development quite like Bruce does,” Patrick Ellis, CEO of the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce, said.

Councilmembers at the meeting described many challenging tasks that would have exhausted any other person, but Coleman accomplished them with enthusiasm.

“The commitment that you have shown to this city has been, to me, mind-boggling,” councilman Randon Lane said.

Lane said at one International Council of Shopping Centers convention, Coleman attended dozens of meetings tirelessly.

“A couple years later, we brought it back, and we actually had a mandate – ‘Bruce, you have to give us at least 30 minutes for lunch,’” Lane said. “But that is to Bruce’s testament of his commitment to bringing development and bringing more businesses to this city.”

Mayor Rick Gibbs said it will be difficult for the city to find a replacement as capable as Coleman.

“Councilmembers, the mayor, city manager – all of us can be replaced,” Gibbs said. “Replacing the institutional knowledge and experience that (Coleman has) – no, you can’t be replaced.”

Councilman Alan Long said when he was running for office, everyone seemed to know Coleman.

“His name was on everyone’s tongue,” Long said. “I didn’t really know what that meant until I had the opportunity to watch him work, and he is truly 100 miles per hour.”

Long said Coleman kept an intense work schedule.

“I had a meeting set up with Bruce, and I looked at his schedule, and he was supposed to be in Orange County, then down in San Diego, then back to Riverside and then he was going to be here,” Long said. “I said, well, Bruce can’t meet with me that day, how is he going to be in all of these places at once? Somehow he did that. And that was a typical day for Bruce. That’s just how fast he moves and how passionate he works for the city.”

City Manager Kim Summers said Coleman has a real vision for what Murrieta can be.

“And there’s been so many times that people say to him, ‘you can’t do that,’” Summers said. “And Bruce always says, ‘No it’s not, we can get there.”

Coleman will be missed by city workers, Summers said.

“Bruce, it’s been great working with you. Staff will miss the jokes in our meetings,” she said. “But mostly, we’re going to be resting because trying to keep up with Bruce has been exhausting.”

One Response to "Murrieta City Council honors longtime Economic Development Director Bruce Coleman"

  1. tom suttle   October 12, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Indeed, Mr. Coleman has performed his job well. Although economic development has been a bit of a challenge in Murrieta for two principal reasons (first and foremost, because of the commercially extraordinary economic behemoth immediately to our south) I am personally aware that Mr. Coleman has nonetheless managed to create and maintain a good reputation among the commercial and industrial brokerages of Southern California. And that, for both near and long term reasons, will be vital to Murrieta’s economic future, and a boon to Murrieta’s next economic director, whoever that may be. I hope and pray the city… Ms. Summers at the fore… will conduct a most thorough search for Mr. Coleman’s replacement. This is not an area in which expense should be spared… as Murrieta can afford nothing but the best in its incredibly challenging arena of competition with Temecula. Nothing less than Murrieta’s financial future is at stake. (And make no mistake about it, there exists a much more bare-knuckled competition between these two cities than most Murrietans, and even perhaps one or two council members, seem to recognize). It is the future of sales tax revenues – not the feeing and otherwise wringing out of citizens and potential business developers – that will determine the future of Murrieta’s parks, cultural events, public arenas, and so much more. Just as one small example, no prosperous city would ever require its citizens to buy a form of yearly city/fire department “insurance” to receive emergency attention from its very own fire department’s paramedics. That’s just not right. And, Murrieta has grown to have a fine staff of public servants… and we all deserve that those public servants… those in city hall, fire, and police departments… be paid enough that they will never be lured away by any kind of temptations other’s may try to offer. And the key to all of this is out there in Murrieta’s economic future. Mr. Coleman’s loss in Murrieta will be Texas’ gain… But this city cannot waste any time bemoaning what is now being lost… it is time to sprint forward mightily.

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