It will be a homecoming of sorts for Chris Lowe.
Lowe is returning to Douglas County after beating out 51 other applicants for the city administrator’s job in Baldwin City.
Lowe’s mother, Caren, worked at the special education cooperative in Baldwin City for 25 to 30 years. His father, Mick, was a longtime educator and principal in the Lawrence school district. The family lived between Baldwin and Lawrence, near Pleasant Grove. So when Chris Lowe, 39, saw the administrator’s job open, he jumped at it.
“I’m just tremendously excited. It’s just a humbling experience because you just know what a great community it is, so there’s just a lot of excitement about making sure that it moves forward and in the right direction,” Lowe said. “I wouldn’t want to be any place else.”
On Monday, Baldwin City Council members voted unanimously to hire Lowe, who’s expected to begin work after Labor Day.
“I really like the fact that he’s got a local tie to this community, and he really likes that, too,” Baldwin City Mayor Ken Wagner said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had somebody here with a local tie, so I think that can pay a big dividend to Baldwin City as we grow and develop the community and move the community forward.”
Lowe has never worked as a city administrator but has been the assistant city administrator for Warrensburg, Mo., and most recently Pleasant Hill, Mo. Lowe earned a bachelor’s degree from Kansas University and received a law degree from Marquette University Law School and a master’s degree in public administration from Bowie State University. Lowe’s wife, Dara, is a civilian physician at Whiteman Air Force Base who hopes to practice medicine in the area. The couple have three sons, Cameron, 7, Jake, 4, and Bryce, 3.
Lowe replaces Jeff Dingman, who left in May after eight years on the job to become deputy city administrator for Fort Smith, Ark.