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Louisville Deputy Mayor Barbara Sexton Smith to retire

Louisville Deputy Mayor Barbara Sexton Smith stands behind a podium alongside Mayor Craig Greenberg at Metro Hall.
Giselle Rhoden
Louisville Deputy Mayor Barbara Sexton Smith said she's "rewiring" her life after announcing her retirement from the role.

Barbara Sexton Smith will step down from her role as Louisville’s deputy mayor on April 15.

At a news conference alongside her colleagues Thursday, Louisville Deputy Mayor Barbara Sexton Smith announced her retirement.

Mayor Craig Greenberg appointed Sexton Smith as deputy mayor in 2022. She leads the Office of Philanthropy, Office of Sustainability, Office of Equity, Office for Women, Office for Immigrant Affairs and the Human Relations Commission.

Sexton Smith said Thursday it has been an honor to work in city leadership.

“I love this work, and it loves me back,” she said. “You've heard me say that many times. I tell people all the time, ‘Love what you do, and it will love you back tenfold.’ And I have always said that a leader should step over when he or she or they are at their peak performance."

Sexton Smith previously represented District 4 on the Louisville Metro Council from 2017 to 2021 and served as CEO for Fund for the Arts.

Greenberg said he has known Sexton Smith for 20 years, and that she has been a supporter of his administration. She helped lead Greenberg’s campaign for the mayoral seat in 2021.

“You have done so much for my family, for me, for this city, and we are all forever grateful,” Greenberg said Thursday. “Your public and private support has been invaluable, and it's been cherished. And it will never be forgotten.”

Sexton Smith said she is “rewiring” her life after her departure from Metro Government by spending more time with her husband, former Kentucky state Sen. Lacey Smith.

Her last day will be April 15. Following her retirement, she will be replaced by Deputy Mayor for Louisville Metro Emergency Services David James. James will continue to lead departments including Metro Corrections, EMS and Fire in the interim.

Greenberg said Metro Government plans to announce an “internal reorganization” regarding the offices that report to the deputy mayor.

Giselle is LPM's breaking news reporter. Email Giselle at grhoden@lpm.org.

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