Our New City Manager
Dennis Luttrell is Focused on the Future
The late, great baseball legend, Yogi Berra, was attributed with the following quote: “If you come to a fork in the road, take it!”
Dennis Luttrell took over as the new City Manger of Lebanon, NH on September 1, 2015 replacing Greg Lewis. Part of his decision-making process to take that position involved a life altering choice. At age 66, Dennis was contemplating the lure of retirement vs. extending a rewarding career that had brought him much satisfaction and success. He had resigned his position as Town Administrator in Somerset, MA after serving in that capacity for seven years. He was at a point where he and his wife, Beverly Hilliard, had to focus intently on the next phase of their lives.
“I had given myself a September deadline to find the right place to continue my career or go to my ranch in Colorado for retirement. My wife and I certainly were no strangers to this area. I had been chosen for another position in municipality management, but when I heard about the open position in Lebanon, it was just too good to pass up and I decided to extend my career.” Dennis explained with a wide smile.
Dennis was not unfamiliar to the New England lifestyle. Born into a family of seven boys, he spent the bulk of his working life in Massachusetts and Rhode Island following a stint in Colorado as a Wildlife Commissioner in the late 1980s. Both Dennis and Beverly are graduates of the University of Vermont, as is their daughter, Megan. Beverly had been employed in Woodstock, Vermont at the Woodstock Inn when they first met.
“We were quite familiar with Lebanon having come here in the early years to shop, take in a movie and dine in the restaurants. We both loved it here and that factored into my decision.”
Now that he has had time to settle into his duties and decide upon housing, Dennis leaned back in his chair to review what he had encountered so far with his new endeavor.
“So far it is about what I expected. The City Counselors and the community have reached out in response and everyone wants as much transparency as possible in the projects that lie ahead. What has impressed me most about Lebanon is the overall proactive response by the entire community. Growth and environmental controls have to take a balanced approach and I see that spirit here. They want to do things right and I want to be part of that.”
The new City Manager sizes up what major challenges Lebanon faces, both long- and short-term. Two majors factors that are hard to ignore are the area’s rapid growth and development, and contributing traffic concerns. They appear to be traveling side-by-side.
“Automotive and truck traffic continue to be a predominant problem whether it be along the Rte #120 corridor or at the West Lebanon shopping areas. The new master plan involving the Lebanon Airport is also a critical issue especially with the new FAA regulations pending if the airport can seek expansion. Growth is continuing at a rapid rate in Lebanon with new development plans being submitted almost daily. I intend to work closely with the Planning Commission in that area, as well.”
Dennis Luttrell brings with him an exceptional background in city government and one of his many passions in life is environmental controls. He has excelled in that field garnering national recognition for his efforts, including an award presented by the United States Coast Guard for his presentation of a Marine Environmental Protection Plan for Buzzards Bay, MA.
“One great thing about the entire state of New Hampshire is their position on environmental issues. They have not been influenced by outside groups and maintain a strict policy on environmental and pollution issues. It is very easy to work with New Hampshire on environmental controls.”
Dennis fully comprehends the challenges that lie ahead for Lebanon and has launched into his tasks with determination and eagerness. That return to his Colorado ranch where he and Beverly will live out their dream of raising quarter horses and Hereford cattle will be placed on hold. When he finds “spare” time, you will find the veteran administrator it kayaking, biking and cruising around with his hair blowing in the breeze driving his classic 1959 Triumph roadster.
When you do see him, give him a wave and a thumbs up!