Relocation forces city to pick interim mayor

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By Kenny Colston

An unforeseen relocation has led to a time of transition in one Oldham County city.

Former Orchard Grass Hills Mayor Darlene Yarberry resigned her office at the town’s October meeting, due to her family moving to Mississippi.  At that same meeting, the city’s six council members elected one of their own to be interim mayor until Yarberry’s term ends in December 2014. 

Interim Mayor Doug Lalli has been on the job roughly one month, after spending three years on the Orchard Grass Hill’s city council.

The decision to become mayor wasn’t one Lalli took lightly, he said.

“I was just your everyday councilman,” Lalli said. “When Darlene stepped down she asked me if I would become mayor and I told her I’d think about it. Then my five other colleagues asked me and I accepted.

“I knew it was interim and if it became a nightmare it was short term and I’d never run again. If it wasn’t (a nightmare), I’d probably run for mayor.”

So far, Lalli hasn’t dealt with any nightmares, he said. His main tasks about a month into the job are dealing with local complaints, like any mayor. But Lalli said he’s ready to tackle bigger issues the town faces.

“I want to be more proactive than reactive,” he said. “I told our council if they wanted me to be mayor I wasn’t just going to sit back and not do things.”

The city’s biggest issue is speeding, Lalli said, and he recently met with Oldham County Judge-Executive David Voegele and Oldham County Police to discuss increased speed limit enforcement.

As for whether Lalli will run for a full term as mayor, he said it’s too soon to determine yet. But he has no big political aspirations whether he runs for a full term or not, Lalli said.

“I want to make the place I live, where my family, my neighbors are, a better place,” he said.  “If I have to keep putting out small fires from complaints I’m probably not interested.”

Lalli, who has lived in Orchard Grass Hills for 12 years, said the county and his town are a great place to live.  And for the time being, Lalli said he’s going to try to make things even better as interim mayor.

“The thing about Oldham County is it’s a great place to live,” he said.


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