Office the Village Manager

James Lower currently serves as the Village Manager.

Village Government

The council-manager form of government combines the strong political leadership of an elected council with the strong managerial experience of an appoint village or city manager. The council retains all the power and authority to set and pursue policy and policy changes.

This form of government has become the most popular structure of local government within the United States. This style of governing was born out of the progressive reform era at the turn of the 20th century.

About the Village Manager

James Lower, Village ManagerJames Lower was named the Village Manager in February 2023.

As provided by ordinance, the Village Manager advises the Village President and Village Council on policy decisions and acts as Chief Administrative Officer, supervising the activities of all department heads and directing the day-to-day operations of the Village. Managerial duties also include preparing the annual budget, overseeing the collective bargaining process, addressing residents and businesses concerns and developing possible solutions to the problems that arise in the course of day-to-day operations in the Village. The manager also works with state and federal agencies as needed.

Prior to joining the Village of Sparta, Lower served as Director of Strategy & Operations for the Michigan State House Speaker and as State Representative for two terms. During his time in state office, he chaired the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee. Prior to his service in Lansing, Lower worked as the Village Manager for the Village of Edmore and served on the Ionia County Board of Commissioners.

Lower holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Grand Valley State University.

Phone: (616) 887-8251
Fax: (616) 887-1114
Email: James Lower