City Commission Meeting Highlights - December 7, 2022

Date of Release: 
December 07, 2022

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After meeting for more than two hours in closed session as permitted by KRS 61.810(1)(f) for issues which might lead to the discipline or dismissal of a member i.e. City Commissioner, the Paducah Board of Commissioners returned to open session, and Mayor George Bray read the following statement: 

On November 8, 2022, City employees removed political signs from City-owned property that were in violation of the City’s sign ordinance. Some of the removed signs were advertising an African-American candidate for City Commissioner. Subsequent thereto, Commissioner David Guess sent a series of texts messages to a City employee wherein Commissioner Guess made the statements: “You got dujan [sic] under control” and “Whitey keeping a black man down.”  See text exchange below.

The Board of Commissioners believes that any sort of language with racial overtones such as this has no place in our society or with this Commission. Minority Inclusion has been a Commission Priority for the past 2 years and all City Commissioners attended Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training. In addition, the City worked with citizens to establish the Paducah Diversity Advocacy Board.

The Board of Commissioners is weighing its options with respect to Commissioner Guess, including removal procedures under KRS 83A.040(9) or some form of public censure. The Board will take up the issue at its next meeting on Thursday, December 15, 2022, at 4:00 PM CST.