Politics & Government

Gray appoints commissioners for finance, environment and social services

Mayor Jim Gray announced the appointments of three new city commissioners on Tuesday.

Jane Driskell was named commissioner of finance and administration; Cheryl Taylor commissioner of public works and environmental quality; and Beth Mills commissioner of social services.

In making the announcements, Gray said the three will help translate "good business practices and principles into city government."

Driskell comes to Lexington from Louisville city hall where for 12 years she served in a variety of finance and budgeting positions. Since March 2009, she has been chief financial officer and director of management and budget for Louisville Metro Government, appointed by then-Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.

Gray welcomed Taylor back to the Urban County Government. Taylor was Lexington's first commissioner of environmental quality and held that position for 21/2 years before leaving in April to take a job with Kentucky American Water.

Taylor said she wanted to return to the post because "every day here is fun. I love the dynamic creativity, and I missed it terribly."

Mills also is returning to city hall, this time as commissioner of the department where she worked for more than 14 years. Since 2004, she has worked at the University of Kentucky as a faculty member and director of field education for the College of Social Work.

Gray still must appoint two other commissioners: public safety, and economic development, planning and preservation. He said there are "extremely strong" candidates for both jobs and he expects to announce those appointments shortly.

Finally, Gray named Susan Straub director of communications for the mayor's office and Shauntae Hall and Vicki McAlister administrative assistants.

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