BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – The new city administrator for West Point isn’t really that new.
Dennis McGregor, a former City Councilman and past president of the West Point Community Club, was named as successor to Gary Menke after Tuesday night’s West Point Utility Board meeting.
Because the West Point City Administrator also pulls double duty as director of the city utility, he had to be approved by both the West Point City Council, which happened Monday night, and then by the utility the following night.
McGregor said he sees West Point as a very strong community and probably one of the best smaller communities in the southeast part of the state.
“We are a very progressive town and there has been a lot of improvement here since I’ve been here anyway,” he said Saturday.
McGregor is closing in on retiring as Controller for Frank Millard and Company out of Burlington and said he wasn’t sure he was ready for a full retirement.
He said he wants to help the community continue to improve and strengthen the good work that’s already been done.
“I live in West Point. I love the community and love everything we do,” he said. “I want to help to improve the community, to make things better not only for the residents, but the children and everyone involved with the city,” he said.
McGregor managed the city’s Sweet Corn Festival out of the Community Club for two years and served as the group’s president four years ago. He’s always believed in volunteering for projects in the city as well as being a member of the Optimist International Organization for close to 30 years.
Although not formally set, he said Aug. 1 may be his official start date. Menke, who also took the position in partial retirement eight years ago, had said he was hoping to have the position filled by Aug. 1st.
McGregor served on the West Point City Council for a four-year stint, and said he will be focusing on learning more about the city and the staff and the functionality of the position going forward.
“I was on city council for four years,” he said. “That was something that was interesting to me at the time and I was able to find out more about the community I live in. I was considering doing a full retirement from Frank Millard, but then I thought this would be a perfect fit for me. And I wasn’t sure I was ready for a complete retirement.”
Overseeing the utility is something McGregor said is an area he’ll need to build a knowledge base on.
“Part of the job is with the city Utility Board. That’s something that I’m going to have to learn about. Other than listening to things that happened during my tenure with the city council I really don’t know that much about the utility board. That’s something I’ll have to dig into.”
He said the city’s upcoming $1.5 million lagoon upgrade will also take up some of his time getting familiar with that project.
“Most of it’s going to be learning really. I’ve not been in government before. Learning the other aspects I didn’t know on council and learning who the employees are so I know more about them as far as managing the city. I know their names, but I don’t know them very well so I want to get to know them better.”
McGregor’s background is in accounting. He moved to West Point in 1994 after living in Burlington for about five years prior to that. He’s had several stints with accounting firms as a CPA and then settled in with Frank Millard for the past quarter of a century, moving up to the position of controller.