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.”