Cheryl A. Taylor, Lexington's first environmental quality commissioner, is leaving to take a job with Kentucky American Water.
Taylor, 53, was named to the new city post by Mayor Jim Newberry in November 2007. She has overseen efforts to comply with a February 2008 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that requires the city to spend $250 million to $300 million during the next decade to repair sanitary and storm sewer systems that have polluted creeks.
In a statement, Newberry said that, in less than 21/2 years, Taylor had established environmental protections that were new to Lexington and "laid the groundwork for ensuring that we will be able to leave our environment in better condition than we found it."
"We will miss her wisdom, her energy and her determination to ensure that we improve our air and water, and protect our land," he said.
Taylor's last day of work will be April 23, the last day of Earth Week. No decision has been made on her replacement, Newberry said.
Taylor will be Kentucky American's manager of production. After working on the city's sewers, she said, it will be interesting working on the water supply. She is completing a master's degree in public health, and she said that will fit well with the new job.
"It's pretty exciting, and it's also sad, because I have a great job," Taylor said.
She said her job switch had nothing to do with dissatisfaction with the city job or any concern that Newberry would not be re-elected this year.
Before coming to work for Lexington, Taylor was Kentucky's environmental protection commissioner. Before that, she was an engineering manager for Procter & Gamble.
Kentucky American spokeswoman Susan Lancho said Taylor's experience with Procter & Gamble, plus the state and city jobs, "make her a wonderful fit" for the utility.