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City Announces Administration Restructuring


Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway has announced a restructuring of the City of Carlsbad’s executive department, following the retirement of City Administrator Mike Hernandez.

Deputy City Administrator John Lowe has been promoted to City Administrator. Wendy Austin, the City of Carlsbad’s Director of Finance and Investments, and KC Cass, the City’s Special Projects Director, will each serve as a Deputy City Administrator. Mayor Janway stressed that no new positions have been added as a result of the restructuring.

The changes are effective immediately following Hernandez’s Jan. 31 retirement.

“John Lowe has done an excellent job as Deputy City Administrator. We’re very comfortable with his leadership skills and capabilities,” Janway said. “John has shown a natural knack for quickly resolving a wide variety of issues in a short time frame – a skill essential for helping to manage this growing community.”

Austin and Cass will both support Lowe in handling the day-to-day City of Carlsbad operations.

“Wendy and KC are both talented professionals who each bring an important set of skills to the table,” Janway explained. “We’ve got a great team that is committed to serving the citizens of Carlsbad, and we appreciate City Council’s support in recognizing these leaders.”

Hernandez was a 26 year employee of the City of Carlsbad who had most-recently previously served as Deputy Administrator, Utilities Director and Deputy Utility Director.

“Mike worked his way from the ground up and had an incredibly high level of knowledge of the workings of the City,” Janway said. “He was highly respected by the community, the workforce and by elected officials. He’s going to be missed.”


Our New Management Team

Carlsbad native John Lowe is a 1993 graduate from Carlsbad High School who went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in City and Regional Planning from New Mexico State University. He joined the City of Carlsbad in 2006 and previously served as sports coordinator, sports superintendent and Community Development Director. John Lowe is the proud father of a 13-year-old son, Justin. Lowe enjoys coaching youth baseball and supporting the Cavemen and Cavegirls athletic program.

Wendy Austin is a native of Carlsbad.  She has two bachelor’s degrees – Administration and Accounting.  In addition, she is a graduate of Regis University with an MBA.  Wendy spent the early years of her career in banking and as an audit manager for the NM Taxation & Revenue Department.  Before joining the City, Wendy spent 9 years in the potash Industry in various leadership roles.

Austin has been with the City for over 3 years, in the position of Director of Finance and Investments.  During this time, Wendy has represented the City during the State Legislature and serves as executive staff representative on multiple boards and for City Council. Austin and her husband Chris together have 6 children and 4 grandchildren.

KC Cass, a Carlsbad native, is a third generation member of his family to have a background in the construction industry. After serving as the regional manager for a large commercial supply store, he joined the City of Carlsbad as a building inspector in 2009. He later became Carlsbad’s Certified Building Official. He most recently served as Carlsbad’s Director of Projects.

K.C. Cass and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children, Kayla, Andrew and Amber. He said he enjoys fishing in his free time. KC is the brother to Director of Public Works Patrick Cass.



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