No Glass Ceilings Here
In Kentucky, 34% of elected officials are women. Across America, that number drops to 30%. When it comes to local leadership, women are often underrepresented.
The City of Nicholasville, however, stands high above their city government counterparts. Women represented 60% of the Nicholasville City Commission and elected government positions in 2022.
Fifteen women leaders were featured in a recent editorial shoot and news stories highlighting their positions in City Hall; the Nicholasville Police and Fire Departments; the Tax and Utilities Offices; the Water Department; on the City Commission; and other areas.
In November, several of the women in City leadership participated in a question-and-answer panel at Jessamine Career and Technical Center (JCTC), which about 40 female students from both high schools attended.
“It is important that we showcase the women we have leading the City for the younger generations of women, so that they know it could be them one day,” said Commissioner Patty Teater. “Representation matters.”
The City Commission
The City of Nicholasville has four commissioners and a mayor. From 2021 – 2022, three of them were women. The commissioners meet three times a month and make decisions to better our community. Bethany Brown, Patty Teater, and Betty Black have served our City well for a number of years.
Nicholasville Public Safety
Autumn Howard, now retired, was a Police Lieutenant with the Nicholasville Police Department for over 23 years.
“I always knew I wanted to do this, and I have really enjoyed it,” said Howard, Police Lieutenant.
Alexus Jones, an NPD Police Lieutenant as well, is the first patrol police lieutenant the City of Nicholasville has ever had.
“This is not a career typically advertised to women,” said Loren Bewley, Fire Lieutenant for the Department. “Still, I am not sure why women don’t consider it more. There’s so much room for movement and growth, no day is the same, and it is a very gratifying career.”
“In this position, we help with water quality which is one of the most important things in the world,” said Renee Rhineheimer, Assistant Distribution/Collection Superintendent–Regulatory–for the City. “There are not many women in this career, and there are a lot of opportunities for them. I hope we can show younger generations that.”
Allison Bowman has also worked with the City for quite some time: 17 years.
“Our work is really important to the well-being of the City, and I really enjoy it,” said Bowman, Assistant Superintendent at the Wastewater Treatment Plant for the City. “Keep an open mind and you never know what you’ll find.”
Tanis Pruiett and Kristine Goldey have been working with the City’s Utilities Department in Customer Service for 21 and 24 years, respectively.
Kristine Goldey is the Utility Customer Service Supervisor and helps to answer any and all questions residents of the City may have regarding utility service and billing.
“We are lucky to work here,” said Pruiett, Utility Billing Supervisor. “All young women, go for it. Apply yourself and go full force. You can do anything you set your mind to.”
The faces of City Hall include Kathy Rhineheimer, Human Resource Manager, Kathy Walker, City Clerk, and Raven Warren, Assistant City Clerk. It’s said that these women help make everything happen.
“No day is the same, and we are all very proud of the work we are able to do to help this City be the best it can be for all residents,” said Kathy Walker, City Clerk.
Women in Finance
The employees who keep the City well supplied and the books well balanced are often overlooked. Even here, you will find women leading the efforts.
City Finance Officer Laurie Young helps to oversee all financial operations conducted in the City. If you have a money question, chances are Young has the answer.
Pauline Horsely, Purchasing Agent, makes sure city funds are well spent by getting the best price and negotiating for better deals when possible.
Tax Administrator Leanne Short keeps track of the revenues that allows the City to operate. She answers the public questions on all thing’s city bill and tax related.
Katherine Porter, Senior Accountant for the City, helps balance the books and make sure all budget for the City is in check.
To recognize the many dedicated women who help run Nicholasville, Mayor Pete Sutherland declared August ‘Women in Government Month.’
Nicholasville’s women in leadership are hardworking, motivated, and passionate individuals who love what they do. Now, they are inviting the next generation of women leaders to get on board.