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The City of La Grange is once again searching for a new mayor.
Mayor Bill Lammlein, who took office four years ago, recently told the Oldham Era he is sticking to a pledge to only serve one term as mayor. That leaves an opening for chief executive of Oldham County’s largest city.
So far, no one has filed to replace Lammlein with roughly three weeks until the filing deadline, Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. But Lammlein said there are qualified people to take his spot.
“There’s plenty of people out there that would be a good mayor,” Lammlein said.
The mayor of La Grange is paid $12,600 a year and is considered a part-time position, but Lammlein said the hours are more like full-time work.
“The responsibilities are enormous,” he said. “The employees depend on you for answers. To do this job, the main responsibility is to make sure people who live here, work here and visit here are safe.”
Lammlein, who will remain mayor until the end of 2014, when his term ends, declined to comment on his political future. That includes declining comment on whether he would run for another local office or even La Grange city council.
At least one former mayor of La Grange is considering whether or not to return. Elsie Carter, who Lammlein defeated in 2010, told the Era she was deciding between a return as mayor or for a spot on the city council.
“I’m trying to contemplate the future for our kids,” Carter said. “I would like to enhance what we’re doing there.”
Carter was complimentary of Lammlein’s term as mayor so far, despite the fact the two only recently settled a lawsuit regarding the transition from Carter’s to Lammlein’s term.
“Bill has done a good job,” Carter said. “I don’t agree with everything he’s done, but he’s a man of the city.”
As for the city council, none of the current council members have filed to run for re-election yet. Only one person, Charles Turner Sr., has filed to run for the city council.
But at the monthly meeting of the council Monday, all but two current council members said they planned to run for re-election.
Joe Davenport, an 18-year member of the council, said he would forego another term on the council to run for mayor instead.
“I’ve been on the council 18 years without a break in service and just thought it was time to move up,” Davenport said.
Davenport said if elected he would serve only one term, four years, then retire. He also praised the work of Lammlein.
“Bill has done a fantastic job and I want to keep it up,” Davenport said. “I feel like I can beat any potential opponents due to name recognition and my work. I want to continue paying this (city) debt service off.”
Jason Taylor was coy about his potential plans, declining to identify whether he would run for another term on the council, run for mayor or leave politics.
“We’ll know by the 28th,” Taylor said. “No decisions have been made.”
Council members Lee Phillips, Tad Humble, Tom Goldsmith, Debbie Pollard and Melanie Woosley all said they would run for re-election and had no interest in running for mayor in 2014.
In a phone interview, council member Jean Knight said she would also run for re-election to the council. Knight said she didn’t have any interest in running for mayor after a previous attempt as a write-in candidate came up just short.
Humble said he had considered running for mayor, but decided 2014 wasn’t the right time to run for the position.
Lammlein said he has one more major goal before leaving office as mayor, which is to build a children’s splash park within the city limits. Lammlein said he’s currently working on grant applications to secure money for such a place.
And in reflecting on his three years as mayor, Lammlein gave himself a passing grade, despite recent public disputes over a new occupational tax and employee health insurance errors.
“I’ve felt like I’ve done a pretty good job,” he said.
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