Kentucky League of Cities: At a glance

June 7, 2009 


What is the Kentucky League of Cities?

The Kentucky League of Cities is a non-profit association that serves its 380 member cities by providing them with lobbying, legal advice, insurance a host of other services.

How do my tax dollars get to KLC?
 

City residents pay taxes in the form of employee withholdings and property taxes.

 

From those taxes, member cities pay dues to the League based on population. For example, in 2008, Richmond paid $7,085 in dues. Lexingon, a much larger city, paid $26,000.

 

Cities also use funds from taxpayers to pay KLC premiums for property and liability insurance. This year, Richmond will pay $360,000 in premiums. They have also borrowed about $8.7 million since 1996 for various projects, such as a new fire station, a renovation of City Hall and a miniature golf course.

 

KLC services return a percentage of revenues to the non-profit umbrella group of KLC. Officials say that’s what allows them to run specialty programs, such as training for new elected officials, or special insurance training.

Where does the money go?

The League offers unique services for cities. Story, Page AXX KLC executives are highly compensated. Executive Director Sylvia Lovely, pictured below, has received raises totalling 25 percent since 2006. Her compensation in 2008 was $315,677. Story, Page AXX League officials say it is important for them to travel to national conferences and to entertain mayors and business associates. Among the expenses for the top three officials over the last three years were:

$304,000: Total amount charged on the credit cards for hotels, meals, gas and other expenses.

$175,888: Airline tickets and hotels.

$77,448: Meals with staff members and business associates.

$20,000: Spent at Azur, a Lexington restaurant co-owned by Bernard Lovely, the husband of KLC president Sylvia Lovely.

$8,100: Expenses for a trip to Dublin, Ireland, for the Lovelys, who attended with Greater Louisville Inc, the city's chamber of commerce and economic development agency.

$4,563: A six-seat box for a season at Churchill Downs in 2007

$4,000: Two University of Kentucky basketball tickets for the 2006 season.

$2,300: Plane tickets for the Lovelys to attend President Barack Obama's Washington, D.C., inauguration and the Bluegrass Ball. Other expenses for the trip were not listed.

What do mayors think of the KLC?

"I am so pleased with the League that I don’t have any problems with what they’re doing right now." —Lyndon Mayor Susan Barto

"From a financial perspective, I think some of these issues are not consistent with what I think most mayors and council members would like to see happen." —Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry

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