When he arrived in Southlake in 1999, Ken Baker already had almost a decade of planning experience. In the time since he has used his considerable skill and knowledge to help develop Southlake into what it is today.
With his recent retirement announcement, it has been observed that he spent 23 years on the job in Southlake, but his impact will likely last for many more to come.
“It is difficult to come up with the words to fully describe Ken Baker’s impact on our city,” said Shana Yelverton, city manager. “We have strong comprehensive plans, an effective set of development regulations, outstanding support of the business and development community, and a pool of talented planning staff dedicated to serving the city. All of this is directly attributable to Ken’s work.”
Ken began his career with Southlake in 1999 as a planner, eventually becoming Director in 2004. As the leader of the planning and development services department, he has enjoyed recognition in the community and also in his profession.
Ken’s team has received more than 16 awards for work on comprehensive planning, project planning, tree preservation and urban forestry, and their strong partnership with the building community. In addition, Ken was recognized as planner of the year by the Midwest section of the Texas chapter of the American Planning Association. He has also received numerous awards from the city.
“To me, one of the best things about working with Ken has been his approach,” said Yelverton. “Ken is a kind and patient person, and he is absolutely committed to doing his job professionally and effectively. He has an innate ability to work with people which stems from the fact that he is a great person.”
Baker’s last day is October 24. Deputy Director Dennis Killough has been appointed to serve as Interim Director beginning October 25.