Paducah mayor to head KLC

Paducah Mayor Bill Paxton will become president of the Kentucky League of Cities now that its current president is moving to the Secretary of State's office.

Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker was named Secretary of State last week after Trey Grayson announced that he would leave the office to take a post at Harvard University.

Paxton will assume Walker's duties until the executive board can take official action. Paxton will remain eligible for a full term as KLC president. Paxton said he was honored to take the top spot.

He will work with the new executive director of KLC, Jon Steiner, as the organization tries to revamp after newspaper stories and a state audit revealed a culture of excessive spending, conflicts of interest and high salaries. The top three officials at KLC have left or have been fired.

Paxton and Steiner will oversee a new culture of transparency required by legislative action, including a database that shows all the group's expenditures. In addition, KLC has new rules for open meetings and open records.

"I will miss Mayor Walker's guidance but feel fortunate to have Mayor Paxton ready to assume the role of president and provide a smooth transition for our member cities," Steiner said.

Paxton is a graduate of Murray State University, Kentucky School of Banking and Louisiana State University Graduate School of Banking, and he spent 30 years in banking and finance.