Glenn Rodden started working as city administrator for the City of Baldwin City in Feb 2016.
“I applied for the position because of the potential for growth and development that I saw in the city. One great asset that Baldwin City has is location. We are within commuting distance to Lawrence and the western suburbs of Kansas City and therefore we are in a good position to benefit from the nearby growth. Specifically, the Intermodal in Edgerton provides us with a real chance to become the center of housing and business in this area.”
Another great asset is Baker University. Having an institution of higher learning in our city provides a great opportunity for the city to collaborate with a growing and dynamic organization on a continuous basis. The Midland Railroad is another key asset for the city because that railroad provides a unique service for our area. And of course the Maple Leaf festival is part of the city’s brand that is known far and wide throughout the state.
Baldwin City does face many challenges. The city’s infrastructure is aging and repairs will be expensive. The city will need to repair brick streets in the near future and those streets are costly to rebuild. The city water department is currently replacing old cast iron water mains that run throughout the city and sewer lines always need to be cleaned and maintained. The city electric system also needs to be updated.
The city’s largest challenge is promoting and managing growth while maintaining the quality of life that Baldwin City is known for. Baldwin City has not grown in population or assessed valuation in almost a decade. This lack of growth is a threat because the city is not widening its tax base and therefore does not have the resource to pay for needed upgrades and repairs. This effort will take vision, leadership and collaboration among various entities within the city. The city will be updating its comprehensive plan that was adopted almost a decade ago. City staff has also recommended to the city council an incentive program to spur an increase in housing, commercial, and industrial development. Our Neighborhood Revitalization Plan (NRP) will provide a tax rebate on new construction based on a graduated scale.