A new Paris mayor has been sworn in to complete the term of Don Kiser, who died after suffering a heart attack.
Mike Thornton, who had been serving his second term as a city commissioner, was sworn in by state Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, on May 20 during a ceremony at municipal center. Thornton also was mayor pro-tem.
Thornton, 43, has lived in the city his entire life and owns Martin's Sanitation Service Inc. and Martin's Pipeline Inspection Inc. He will work part-time as mayor until the end of the term, Jan. 1, 2011. The city manager is in charge of the city's daily operations.
"He was quite a mayor," Thornton said of Kiser. "So he left big shoes to fill."
Kiser, who was elected mayor in 2002, collapsed on April 23 while working at city hall. He died about 6:30 a.m.
The city's checklist includes passing a budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year before July 1 and readying Paris for the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Thornton said the city has to figure out how to promote Paris and make the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games visitors want to drive there from the Kentucky Horse Park.
Thornton said he also wants to help address recreation in Paris, possibly combining the city and county park systems.
Bart Horne of Paris was sworn in May 20 to replace Thornton on the city commission.