Fayette County

Linda Gorton keeps many of Jim Gray’s commissioners, but two key positions still open

In first speech Mayor Linda Gorton says “Let’s dream big Lexington.”

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton was inaugurated Sunday with 15 members of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council at the University of Kentucky Student Center on UK’s campus.
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Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton was inaugurated Sunday with 15 members of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council at the University of Kentucky Student Center on UK’s campus.

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton named several key members of her leadership team Tuesday, including many familiar faces from former Mayor Jim Gray’s administration.

Gorton is still searching for two key positions: commissioner of planning, who oversees the city’s planning, zoning, historic preservation and other building-related departments; and commissioner of environmental quality and public works, who oversees solid waste, traffic, streets and roads and water quality.

Susan Speckert, the former director of the Fayette Alliance and general counsel of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, has been named law commissioner. Speckert will start in February. She is the only new commissioner named so far. Speckert’s salary is $139,900.

As mayor, Gorton appoints her staff and commissioners.

Returning commissioners include:

Geoff Reed, commissioner of general services, who oversees parks, facilities and other key operational department. His salary is $132,448.

Ken Armstrong, commissioner of public safety, who oversees police, fire, 911, and the Fayette County Detention Center. His salary is $132,448.

Bill O’Mara, commissioner of finance. His salary is $133,991.

Chris Ford, commissioner of social social services, who oversees various social service programs including adult and tenant services. His salary is $122,341.

Aldona Valicenti, chief information officer, who oversees all information technology services. Her salary is $142,785.

Chief Administrative Officer Sally Hamilton will serve as acting commissioner of planning while the search for someone to fill that position continues, city officials said Tuesday. Charlie Martin, the director of the division of water quality, will serve as acting commissioner of environmental quality and public works. Martin has been serving as acting commissioner for several months.

Last week, Gorton named other key members of her leadership team, including Hamilton.

“These people will ensure government services operate smoothly, efficiently and effectively,” Gorton said. “They also will be a force for innovation, accountability and transparency within city hall.”

The commissioners, Hamilton and Valicenti must be confirmed by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council. Those hearings are set for Jan. 17.

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