Banks City Councilor Mark Gregg attended his last meeting as city councilor Tuesday, Dec 13. After 14 years of service on the council Gregg decided not to seek re-election.
As city councilor, Gregg also served on the Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency for 10 years representing the city of Banks. WCCCA operates 9-1-1 dispatch services for Banks and all major cities and unincorporated areas within Washington County.
Gregg is originally from Colorado and earned a degree in engineering at the University of Oklahoma before coming to Oregon.
He first moved to Hillsboro, Oregon, in 1997 and eventually took a job doing fire safety engineering with Hillsboro Fire & Rescue in 1999. He moved to Banks with his wife and two children in 2003.
Gregg first became interested in the city council in 2008 after attending a regular meeting. Quickly he became a staple at the meetings, looking to better understand what was going on in the town. His wife was very involved in the school and he saw it as his chance to get involved in the community in his own way.
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“I was looking for a way to get involved in town other than fire board, or fire departments, because I did that for a career,” Gregg said. “It just seemed like a way to get engaged with the community that we moved out to to raise our kids.”
Gregg joined the Banks City Council in 2009. He was originally appointed after applying to fill the position left vacant by a former council member who had moved out of Banks.
According to Gregg he had a lot of learning to do in his first year on the council. When he first joined, council members were working on establishing a new urban growth boundary which was finalized in 2011 to prepare for future development and growth.
Gregg mentions this as one of the major successes during his time on the council.
“I think it was 2011, we finally finished the urban growth boundary plans. That was a lot of work and a lot of community input.”
Now as Gregg departs from the council, plans are being laid for just the type of development that he and the council worked to prepare for.
Despite the successes, balancing growth with the preservation of the small town feel has been one of the more challenging parts of the job, according to Gregg.
As the longest sitting council member Gregg has seen many members come and go during his tenure, but according to Gregg despite the turnover there was always a level of respect and cooperation on the council.
“Over the 14 years, I never felt that we had a group of seven counselors and a mayor that couldn’t work together and solve problems,” Gregg said.
In recent years the city has continued to develop and plan for future expansions like a new town center. All together, Gregg’s fourteen years of service have seen the planning and development of city infrastructure as the city prepares for significant growth.
According to Gregg, it’s time for new community members to step up and fill roles on the council. One of the six council seats has been vacant since June, 2022.
“You can make a difference,” he said. “That’s what I’ve enjoyed over 14 years, we have a chance to help shape the community.”