BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – After eight years as the City Administrator for West Point, Gary Menke will be stepping down this summer.
At Monday’s regular meeting of the West Point City Council, Mayor Paul Walker informed the councilmen on the policy administration committee that interviews will start next week for the position.
Menke signed on as the City Administrator after retiring from DuPont eight years ago.
“I retired once as HR Manager at DuPont and then came here after Art White’s death,” Menke said. “He died suddenly and I was on the utility board and the mayor asked me to fill in. It was supposed to be temporary, but I guess you could say this is temporary.”
The city has received 13 applications to fill the position and Menke said he’s told Walker that he would be flexible with a stop date to allow the city to get the right person on board.
He said he’d been talking about retiring for about a year and he and the mayor had both been talking about stepping away at the same time, but Walker decided to run again for two more years, however Menke decided to call it quits.
The city is currently in the middle of some major projects that the new administrator will step into.
“We’ve got a major project with the new lagoon. That’s a $1.5 million estimated project and we’ve got to work through that,” Menke said. “We’ve got the new school build and we have to work with them on that to make sure that’s successful. But financially were in a good place and we’ve done a lot of improvements since we’ve been here, park upgrades, a new main street, and we’ve got five new homes out south in the subdivision.”
Menke said the city is in good financial shape with a slightly increasing mill levy, but also property valuations are on the rise and subdivisions are starting to grow.
He said a good timetable for the new administrator would probably by Aug. 1, but nothing was set for sure.
“It’s undecided. I’m flexible,” he said. “We’ve accepted applications and that’s now closed. I’ve got 13 that we’re looking at and my guess is that we’ll do interviews in the next week or so, but when we identify a candidate they’ll probably need time to notify their employer. So I’m probably thinking about Aug. 1. I told the mayor I’m flexible.”
He said the city has some good options because many of the candidates are from the area including Burlington and several from West Point.
“I think we’ve got some good choices,” he said.
In other action, the council:
• voted 5-0 to set June 30 for the annual fireworks display at South Park with a July 1 rain date.
• voted 5-0 to rename Veterans Memorial Park, West Park Subdivision. The city park is currently being subdivided into three lots for individual sale and development.
• voted 5-0 to increase the amount of new hire contributions to the city health insurance program to 20% of the premium. Current employees will be grandfathered in at current rates.