It wasn’t the traditional banquet to honor the outgoing president, but a surprise luncheon Wednesday was the best alternative for the Kentucky League of Cities and London officials to recognize Mayor Troy Rudder for his year-long work leading the statewide group. 

The mayor was surprised when he learned that another routine luncheon at the London Community Center was actually to honor his work for the KLC, which represents 380 cities in Kentucky.

He volunteered to work on the group’s insurance committee about 15 years ago, then took on increasing responsibility and was elected president of the KLC for 2020-21. 

“It’s been a whirlwind ride the last year,” Rudder said during his impromptu speech at the luncheon. 

“Covid kind of cheated me a little as president. How many Zoom meetings did I attend last year? Felt like hundreds. But we still got a lot accomplished and had a productive legislative session.” 

Covid also canceled the KLC’s banquet in which the outgoing president is honored and the gavel is passed to the next president. Instead, the group prepared a video thanking Mayor Rudder and listed a number of his accomplishments in the last year. 

“You’ve been a guiding star for this organization during a very challenging time for all of us,” KLC Executive Director J.D. Chaney said in the video.

“You always say to leave it better than you found it. That’s the hallmark of public service. Not only have you done that for the City of London over the past 40 years as councilman and mayor, but you also did that for KLC. Your track record speaks for itself.” 

Mayor Rudder said he was proud to lead the group of influential city officials from across the state. 

“All those people put their trust in me,” he said.

“It blew me away when they acknowledged I had what it takes to lead that amazing organization.”  

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