Mayor Jim Gray shuffles his staff

bfortune@herald-leader.comJanuary 16, 2013 

In a mid-term shuffling of his staff, Mayor Jim Gray appointed Sally Hamilton as the city's Chief Administrative Officer, replacing Richard Moloney, who was named Commissioner of Environmental Quality and Public Works.

Gray said the departure of Jane Driskell, Commissioner of Finance and Administration, presented an opportunity to look at his staff, examine their responsibilities, skill sets and make adjustments.

"What you see are people who have been in roles in this administration taking on new roles," Gray said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon where the changes were announced. Being flexible and able to adapt to new responsibilities "is a real benefit to a good operating team," he said.

Driskell came to Lexington in Jan., 2011 from Louisville city hall where she served in a variety of finance and budgeting positions over 12 years, including chief financial officer and director of management and budget for Louisville Metro Government. She was appointed by then-Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.

Tuesday was Driskell's last day with city government. She was sworn in Wednesday as Gov. Steve Beshear's state budget director, leaving Gray with a hole to fill.

Other staff changes Gray announced:

• Geoff Reed will return to the Gray administration as the new Commissioner of General Services, replacing Hamilton. Reed left city government last spring to serve as senior advisor to former Congressman Ben Chandler.

• Bill O'Mara, director of the Division of Revenue, will serve as acting Commissioner of Finance and Administration while Gray searches for Driskell's replacement.

• Glenn Brown was tapped as deputy CAO. He formerly was Director of Corrections, the first black to hold that position.

• Tom Blues, who retired as council member from the 2nd District, will become an aide to Gray. He will continue to be involved the design excellence task force and have some duties as a liaison with the Urban County Council, he said.

• Melissa Lueker, former assistant to CAO Moloney, was named acting director of the Division of Budget while a replacement is found for Ryan Barrow, who left to take a job in Frankfort.

Before being picked for the CAO job, Hamilton was Commissioner of General Services. She is a veteran of an array of state government jobs. Her last stint in Frankfort was director of financial audits for former State Auditor Crit Luallen's.

As the city's Commissioner of General Services, Hamilton helped implement a business plan for that in the past year cut in half the city's subsidy to golf, and increased rounds of golf play by 10 percent. The business plan also secured the future of Meadowbrook Golf Course, so it will not be closed.

Hamilton said she had no plans to change the way the CAO office operates.

We will continuously be dealing with our budget priorities. How to provide services in the most efficient and economical way," Hamilton added.

Beverly Fortune: (859) 231-3251.Twitter: @BFortune2010

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