A.J. Stevens was hired in December 2017 as the Executive Director of a 501c3 Heritage Railroad. The railroad averages 45,000 annual riders for popular events like The Polar Express Train Ride and A Day Out With Thomas. These visitors contribute millions of dollars in economic impact for the local economy, both through active railroad operations and partnerships with national branded events.
A.J. attended the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Thomas Edison State University. Stevens later studied two years at Delaware Law School while pursuing a Master of Jurisprudence degree.
A.J. lives in Baldwin City with his wife, Carrie, and their 11-year-old son. Carrie currently serves on the USD 348 Board of Education. She is a graduate of DePaul University College of Law and is employed by Ottawa University as Associate Vice President of Compliance.
A.J. is committed to public service. He served on the Baldwin City Council from 2017 to 2020. Stevens was elected council president in 2018. In that time, he played a key role in important initiatives, including:
BUDGET: As chair of the finance committee, A.J. presented a balanced budget to the council for approval that resulted in a tax break for local residents while funding several quality of life projects.
RENEWABLE ENERGY: As a member of the utility committee A.J. helped bring a budget neutral solar farm to Baldwin City. Increasing our consumption to over 43% renewable energy.
INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY: Stevens initiated Baldwin City's Non-discrimination Ordinance. The approved ordinance added protection for real or perceived race, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, marital status, familial status, and veteran status of all citizens.
QUALITY OF LIFE: A.J. has made helping attract and retain residents a priority, with a focus on sidewalk improvements, parks, trails, neighborhoods, and events like the The Polar Express Train Ride.
LEADERSHIP: A.J. has been willing to stand up on the tough issues of the day, whether it's fair transparent use of public funds or the benefits of City employees and retirees, to ensure that our community can move forward.
UTILITY RATES: A.J. consistently opposed city owned utility rate increases by seeking alternative budget savings to help families struggling paycheck to paycheck.
Stevens spent 20 years as a collegiate coach including stints at Indiana University, Dartmouth College, The University of Illinois, The Claremont Colleges, Colorado Mesa University, & Ottawa University. His career record was 92 wins and 56 losses as a head coach.