Mayor Brandi Harless presented Commissioner Sarah Stewart Holland and Commissioner Allan Rhodes, Jr. plaques of appreciation for their service as City Commissioners and their dedication to the Paducah community. Rhodes began serving the citizens of Paducah in January 2013 with Holland serving since January 2017. Each Commissioner, the Mayor, and the City Manager voiced their gratitude to Commissioner Holland and Commissioner Rhodes for their service to Paducah.
Mayor Harless thanked Commissioner Holland for her service and their journey together. “I have so appreciated your being a part of my first term.”
Commissioner Richard Abraham acknowledged Commissioner Holland’s passion and insight. “That passion is something that comes through.”
Mentioning the curbside recycling program, comprehensive smoke-free ordinance, the fairness ordinance, and the hiring of a new city manager, Commissioner Holland said, “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past two years.” She encourages people to keep stepping up to serve this community.
Mayor Harless thanked Commissioner Rhodes for encouraging her to run for Mayor. “I wouldn’t be sitting in this seat if it wasn’t for you believing in me.” City Manager Jim Arndt thanked Commissioner Rhodes for his friendship and the opportunity to gain the knowledge and context about the community issues. Commissioners Wilson, Holland, and Abraham thanked Commissioner Rhodes for his honest and frank discussions. Commissioner Abraham said, “When you communicate like that, you can find out a lot of things and solve a lot of them.”
Commissioner Rhodes ended his service by providing two suggestions for the community. He wants people to curb their negativity. “Don’t waste your negative energy. Take it in a positive direction.” He also encouraged the public to trust the local government.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an employment agreement with Brian Laird to serve as chief of the Paducah Police Department. The agreement is effective January 1, 2019. Laird said, “I appreciate the Mayor and Commission and the faith you have put in me to lead this department. We have a great department.”
Current Paducah Police Chief, Brandon Barnhill, announced in October that he would be retiring with an effective retirement date of December 31.
Laird has been serving as assistant police chief since May 2018. He began his law enforcement career with the Paducah Police Department in 2001. During his career, he has served and supervised in all divisions of the department as a Patrolman, Detective, Sergeant, Captain, and since May as Assistant Chief over the Support Services Division. He also serves as Commander of Specialized Units which includes SWAT, Bomb Squad, K-9, and the Crisis Negotiation Team. Laird holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Murray State University and a Master of Science degree from the University of Louisville.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a Municipal Order adopting a new Mission Statement and Organizational Values for the City of Paducah. Over the past few weeks, the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and Public Information Officer drafted the Mission Statement and Values, presented them to the Leadership Team for input, discussed the drafts with various members of the community, and presented them to the Middle Management Team as a focus group for feedback. The City Manager is working on a rollout of the information to the organization with employee meetings scheduled for January 28, 2019. Using the feedback, the recommended Mission Statement and Organizational Values are as follows:
Mission Statement: To be the best city in the world.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an agreement in the amount of $32,000 with Gardner Engineering & Construction for professional services associated with the determination of a scope of work and the development of a demolition bid package for the building a 318 Broadway, also known as the Kresge Building. After a foreclosure process, the City of Paducah purchased the building for less than $400. Due to the condition of the building and to protect the neighboring structures, the City will be soliciting bids for a qualified demolition contractor in 2019.