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Owensboro, Kentucky

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Owensboro is one of the five largest cities in Kentucky. It is the county seat of Daviess County. The city's population is estimated to be 57,265 at the 2010 Census, making it the second-largest city in the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area.[1] It was settled in 1797 and incorporated in 1817.

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Kentucky city websites

The good

  • Elected officials are listed with their contact information.[2]
  • A budget is posted.[3]
  • Agendas and minutes for meetings are posted online.[4] Meetings are also available via webcast.[5]
  • A property tax search is available.[6]
  • Information on zoning and planning is available through the Owensboro Metropolitan Planning Division.[7]
  • Only the city's police department has information about public records requests.[8]
  • Administrative officials and their contact information are posted under each department's page.
  • Audits are posted.[9]

The bad

  • Current bids are posted[10] but previously awarded contracts are not.
  • There is no information on lobbying.

Elected Officials

The mayor is elected for a term of four years. Each city commissioner is elected for a term of two years. The term of the city manager is indefinite and based on performance.

Mayor Ron Payne

Ron Payne was elected in 2008 after having served a term as the mayor pro tem. He won the mayoral race against then-city commissioner Al Mattingly Jr. by 198 votes.[11] After the election, Payne made downtown development a major priority of his tenure.

Before serving as the city's mayor, Payne was an assistant professor of accounting at Brescia University.[12] Previous Owensboro service includes: City Commissioner from 2005 to 2007, Chief Administrative Officer from 1997 to 2003, and Director of Finance and Administration from 1993 to 1997. Before this, he had served the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, as its Controller, Deputy City Auditor, and Director of Finance.

Mayor Pro Tem Pamela Smith-Wright

Pam Smith was elected in 2010.[13] Because she received the most votes in the 2010 election for city commissioner, she was named the Mayor Pro Tem. This was her first election for this position.[14] She is the first woman to be elected Mayor Pro Tem.

She has owned her own salon for 30 years and a catering service for over 20 years. She is President of the Lady Kentucky Colonels, Past President of the Owensboro Human Relations Commission, where she did work shops on diversity and racial equality. Pam was the Mayor’s appointee for the Unified Government Task Force, a member of the Friday After Five Board of Directors and Past Chair of the Wesleyan- Shawnee Neighborhood Alliance.[15]

Commissioner Roger Stacy

Roger Stacy was elected in 2010 for his first term as city commissioner. He has worked and managed many Chrysler dealerships in the Southern Illinois, Paducah, and Owensboro areas until 2005, when he sold his dealership. He is currently a licensed real estate agent and an agent with AFLAC.[16] He served one term on the Board of Directors of Owensboro Medical Health System. An active member of Owensboro Christian Church and various service organizations, Roger helped found Community Solutions for Substance Abuse where he served as President of the Board for two terms and in other capacities with Lighthouse Recovery.[17]

Commissioner David Johnson

David Johnson is currently the Director of Pupil Personnel for Owensboro Public Schools, after serving as a political science teacher, football coach, department chair, secondary curriculum specialist, and principal of Owensboro Middle School.[18]

He has served on various local boards' Executive Committee of the Regional Alliance; the Owensboro Area Museum Board of Directors; the Mayor's Crime Prevention Commission; KY-ASAP Board; DJJ Crime Prevention Regional Board; the Owensboro Day Treatment Board; the United Way Campaign Board; President of the 3rd Region Kentucky Association of School Administrators; and as President of the 3rd Region Directors of Pupil Personnel.[19]

Commissioner Jeff Sanford

Jeff Sanford was elected in 2010 for his first term as city commissioner. Jeff is the president of Scoreboard Publishing, Inc. and past president of American Classified in Bowling Green, KY and Nashville, TN. He serves on the Owensboro Lighthouse Recovery Board and is a past board member of the Housing Authority.[20]

City Manager Bill Parrish

Bill Parrish was selected by the City Commissioners to be the City Manager in December 2007. Before this appointment, he had been the Street and Sanitation Superintendent since 2001. Before this, he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps until his retirement in September 2001.[21]


Salaries for the elected officials are not online.

Public employees

In the 2010-11 budget year, there are 411 full-time employees, 103 part-time employees, and 160 temporary employees.[22] The employees worked in the following departments:

  • Administration - 6 full-time, 5 part-time
  • Information technology - 21 full-time, 10 part-time
  • Finance and purchasing - 17 full-time, 5 part-time
  • Personnel - 5 full-time, 2 part-time
  • Parks and recreation - 63 full-time, 66 part-time, 97 temporary
  • Police - 143 full-time, 19 part-time, 13 temporary
  • Fire - 95 full-time
  • Public works - 110 full-time, 18 part-time, 50 temporary

Emergency personnel

According to the 2010-11 budget, the police department has 175 workers, and the fire department has 95 workers.[23]


See also: Kentucky state budget


In 2010-11, revenue sources totaled $39,230,819.[24] Major sources were:

  • Taxes - $11,470,320
  • Licenses and permits - $15,904,120
  • Fines and forfeitures - $145,000
  • Use of property - $135,000
  • Intergovernmental - $8,750,186
  • Charges for services - $1,727,509
  • Grants - $222,784
  • Franchises - $842,900
  • Other - $33,000


In 2010-11, total expenditures were $35,169,716.[25] Major expenditures were:

  • General government - $8,090,301
  • Public safety - $18,353,719
  • Parks and recreation - $2,902,261
  • Public works - $4,166,983
  • GIS - $0
  • Community services - $1,573,723
  • Parking garage - $82,729

Stimulus spending

A total of $78,360,111.26 was spent in Daviess County as part of the federal stimulus from Feb. 2009 to Dec. 2010. These included 15 prime projects for $52,107,192.92, and 47 total projects for $78,360,111.26. In all, 120.34 prime jobs were created.[26]


See also: Kentucky government sector lobbying

Owensboro is a member of the Kentucky League of Cities, an organization that lobbies on behalf of Kentucky's cities.[27]


  1. [1] Wikipedia, "Owensboro, Kentucky," accessed April 23, 2011]
  2. Elected officials
  3. Budget
  4. Agendas
  5. Meetings
  6. Property taxes
  7. Owensboro Metropolitan Planning Division
  8. Public records
  9. Audits
  10. Bids
  11. Channel 14, "What's Next for New Owensboro City Commission?" November 5, 2008
  12. Mayor
  13. Mayor Pro Tem (dead link)
  14. Pamela Smith-Wright
  15. Pamela Smith-Wright
  16. Commissioner Roger Stacy
  17. Commissioner Roger Stacy
  18. Commissioner David Johnson
  19. Commissioner David Johnson
  20. aphies/jeff-sanford Commissioner Jeff Sanford (dead link)
  21. City Manager Bill Parrish
  22. Employees
  23. Police and fire
  24. Budget
  25. Budget
  26. Stimulus spending
  27. Kentucky League of Cities