Luke Stowe.

The Evanston City Council intends to appoint Interim City Manager Luke Stowe as Evanston’s next city manager. 

In an announcement Friday afternoon, the city said the Council expects to vote on Stowe’s appointment at a special meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16, and conduct a performance review after nine months that will include opportunities for public input.

This decision was reached after multiple rounds of nationwide searches.

Qualified candidates withdrew from the process at every phase, the news release says, including the most recent stage when, before a single candidate was introduced to the public, two of three finalists removed their names from consideration for personal and professional reasons.

Simultaneously, the city experienced significant challenges that come during a time of interim leadership, including staff departures, service cutbacks, and more.

These experiences led the City Council to determine that Evanston would be best served at this time by an internal candidate with vast institutional knowledge and broad respect from community members, City staff, and elected officials. 

“Luke earned this appointment through his distinguished service to the City, demonstrating during a uniquely contentious era an extraordinary ability to build bridges and work constructively with just about everyone,” said Mayor Daniel Biss.

“It is time for our organization to get moving again, and to do so in a way that includes and respects all stakeholders; Luke is exactly the right person to make that happen. Let’s get to work.”

Stowe has been interim city manager since July 12. Before that, he served as interim deputy city manager since February 2022, overseeing several City departments/divisions such as Fire, Health and Human Services, Finance/Budget, Parks and Recreation, Information Technology, and Administrative Adjudication. Stowe has worked for the City since June 2012 and has held many positions, including director of administrative services, chief information officer, and digital services manager. Stowe also served in critical roles for the Emergency Operations Center during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stowe brings nearly 25 years of local government experience to his role. Before his service in Evanston, he held related management and technology positions in Lake County and Champaign governments and the private sector. Stowe was previously recognized as one of the “Top Doers, Dreamers & Drivers” by Government Technology Magazine and was nominated for Local IT Leader of the Year by StateScoop.  

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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