A ceremony was held to officially rename the City of Mesa Utilities Building the Charles K. Luster Building. Mesa City Council approved
a resolution at its Dec. 8 meeting to rename the building in honor of the former Mesa City Manager who worked for the city more than
"I don't think there are very many city managers with the longevity of Mr. Luster," Mayor John Giles said. "The reason for his long
tenure was his absolute integrity. Everyone trusted his character and professional ability."
Known as "Mr. Luster" by former and current city employees, he began his career at the City of Mesa in 1957 as city engineer. Luster
served as the public works director and assistant city manager before becoming city manager in 1979. He held that job for 21 years
before retiring in 2000.
"If you look around the city, you see the legacy of Charles Luster. He guided Mesa during a time of tremendous growth. Many of our
buildings, our utility system, parks, libraries and recreational facilities were constructed under his leadership," City Manager
Chris Brady said.
During Luster's time with the city, Mesa grew from a town of 27,000 people to a city with a population of nearly 400,000.
"Charles Luster had the vision to help create the infrastructure the city needed to handle its phenomenal growth while, at the same
time, being the champion for quality-of-life projects and programs to make Mesa a great place for our residents to enjoy," former
Mesa City Manager Mike Hutchinson said. "I had the privilege to work with him and he was not only forward thinking but a man of
great integrity. Renaming the Utilities Building for him is a great way to show our gratitude to him."
Hutchinson approached the city with a request to rename the utilities building to the Charles K. Luster Building to honor his
many years of service to Mesa.
Luster worked with 11 mayors and their city councils to create state-of-the-art utilities, police and fire facilities, water
and wastewater treatment plants and other vital infrastructure to accommodate Mesa's growth. He oversaw development of numerous
parks and recreation facilities, libraries, Mesa Convention Center, Hohokam Stadium and other amenities. During his career, he
was instrumental in repurposing an old World War II pilot training airstrip into Falcon Field Airport and the former Williams
Air Force Base into Williams Gateway Airport, now known as Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
"I am deeply humbled by the renaming of the utilities building. While my name may be on the building, I share this honor with
mayors and councilmembers that I worked with, along with hundreds of current and former employees, community and business
leaders and our residents who have made a great impact on Mesa over the years," Charles Luster said.
It is the first time a City of Mesa building has been named after a person. The ceremony took place two days before Luster's