Politics & Government

Senior adviser to Mayor Jim Gray announces resignation

Geoff Reed
Geoff Reed

Geoff Reed, a senior adviser to Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, is resigning effective April 27.

Reed, who has worked for the mayor's office for about 15 months — since Gray became mayor — is returning to work for his old boss, U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler. Reed will be a director in Chandler's Lexington office.

Reed, Gray's senior adviser for policy and government relations, said the decision was a difficult one.

"I basically committed to come and help Jim set up the office and attack some of the problems you encounter in the first year. I think I've done that," Reed said Friday.

"I'm just proud of the people that I've helped recruit and bring into government," Reed said, adding that he was pleased with what's been accomplished at the jail and the health department during his tenure. He said it has been an honor to work with Gray, a mayor who has enthusiasm and is willing to take on tough issues.

Reed worked for Chandler for seven years before taking the city government job. He said he maintained a close relationship with Chandler and his representatives while working for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and he said Chandler's office had been "terribly helpful" during the first year of Gray's administration.

Reed helped manage the formation of a public safety task force and got the administration off to a good start by recruiting talented commissioners, Gray said. Gray left the door open for Reed to return to local government any time he wanted.

"Geoff Reed's career has always been about raising the bar, about setting and meeting high expectations, and Lexington is a better place today because of his devotion to public service," Gray said.

On Thursday night, the Urban County Council adopted a resolution asking Reed to stay.

"I made a resolution thanking him for his service and extending an invitation for him to stay, if he would," said councilman Doug Martin. "Geoff has been an extremely competent and delightful person to work with," he said, adding that Reed has the tact to deal with many groups on issues where there are "high feelings."

"He can disagree with you straight out without offending you, and that's a very valuable thing," Martin said.

While Reed is leaving local government, Shaye Rabold, former Mayor Jim Newberry's chief of staff, has returned to city hall as a senior aide to Gray. Rabold returned to the mayor's office this month after a stint as executive director of the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship. Rabold's return is unrelated to Reed's departure, said Susan Straub, spokeswoman for Gray.