Bennett was first elected to the council in 2003. He acted as deputy mayor from 2008 to 2011.
Officials announced the news Tuesday, acknowledging that Bennett has been "seen less frequently in public" because of the illness. He plans to move and live closer to his family.
“I want to thank Councilman Bennett for his outstanding service to the City and its people,” City Manager Anthony Ruggiero said in a statement. “While we’re sad to see Don go, we know it’s been difficult for him to carry out the responsibilities of office in the past year and respect his decision.”
A Democrat, Bennett was reelected in 2011 to his third four-year term. The Peekskill City Charter allows for a majority of the council to appoint someone to fill the open seat left by Bennett.
Bennett's experiences with the community stretched far beyond the council to involvement with the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the food pantry at Montrose VA, the Church of the Holy Spirit, the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce, the March of Dimes (Northern Metro Division), the Peekskill Housing Authority, the Peekskill Museum, the Peekskill Youth Bureau, the Rotary Club of Peekskill and the Westchester Millennium Commission. He also served as a youth exchange counselor.
Patch was unable to reach Bennett for comment Tuesday afternoon. He recently retired from Pamal Broadcasting in Fishkill NY (WLNA/WBNR-AM, WHUD-FM and WSPK/WXPK-FM) where he was employed since 1990.
"I am a person who likes to bring people together to work on the common good," Bennett said in a previous interview when asked about running for reelection. "Networking with various players, seeking different ideas and suggestions."
He said his top priorities included "HR structure for city employees, providing joint services from the city and school district to save budget dollars, working with our economic development and planning departments to bring more business, cultural and entertainment opportunities to our community."