Lori Luther Says Farewell
Waukesha's city administrator leaves post after three years to become Peoria County administrator.
Waukesha’s city administrator spent her final hours being employed by the city saying “good bye” to the coworkers and friends she had made while working for the city since 2008.
Luther is leaving Waukesha to take the Peoria County administrator position, which is a significant increase in job status and salary.
“The city has been lucky to have a rising star for the last several years,” Alderman Paul Ybarra said during a special recognition of Luther’s work Thursday night during the Common Council. “The fact that you are receiving a $30,000 raise tells me that Waukesha had a heck of a deal for quite some time.”
After the presentation, the majority of the people in the Common Council meeting gave Luther a standing ovation for her work. Mayor Jeff Scrima and several people who are close to him did not stand.
Luther said during an interview Thursday that she will miss the Common Council and city staff she has worked with for the past few years.
But, it’s time for the woman who is in charge of the day-to-day operations at City Hall to move on.
“I am really looking forward to the positive working environment that is focused on professionalism in Peoria,” Luther said. “I am definitely looking forward to that.”
What will she miss the most? It was clear Luther will miss the relationships she has with the people in Waukesha, whether it was with other families at local sports events with which her children were involved or those at City Hall.
“It is definitely the people, especially the staff and the council that I worked so closely with,” Luther said.
Luther’s husband, Chris Luther, was a teacher at Saratoga STEM Academy last school year. Chris Luther is also moving on as he has taken a teaching position in one of the area Illinois schools, keeping the family together during a quick transition time.
Advice for replacement?
Luther said that her advice for the next city administrator would be to rely on the top department directors and leadership within the city.
“The department directors are top notch,” Luther said.
The city would benefit in its city administrator search by touting the city’s department heads’ reputation. Luther called the department heads the city’s “best recruitment tool.”
“They are what made it fun,” Luther said.