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Brandi Harless Talks Diversity and Plans For Her First Three Months in Office

Matt Markgraf, WKMS


Brandi Harless is officially the mayor of Paducah. She and the city commissioners were ceremonially sworn in Tuesday at City Hall. She said her plan for her first three months in office is to listen and learn from meetings with city officials and departments.

“My conversations during the campaign and the goals I have thought about have been affirmed. And it’s kind of interesting because the more I learn about the operations of the city the more I realize how good of operations we have in the city government.”

Harless also said she ready to uphold her campaign promise of addressing diversity in meetings with city officials and department heads. During her campaign, Harless said it takes an intentional effort to improve diversity in the workforce, which means having honest conversations about racial bias.
“You know diversity is going to be an ongoing conversation and I just have to make sure that I keep it at the forefront of our conversation, and that’s where I’m at right now, maybe after 90 days I can have a much better picture at where we are sitting with that and find a way to improve it.”

Harless said she believes there plenty of opportunities for engagement, for example, identifying goals for the different community development task forces. In her campaign, Harless wanted to create a “neighborhood empowerment model,” providing leaders of Paducah’s neighborhoods resources for development. She said the transition of power between her and former mayor Gayle Kaler went smoothly.


Taylor is a recent Murray State University graduate where she studied journalism and history. When she's not reporting for WKMS, she enjoys creative writing and traveling. She loves writing stories that involve diversity, local culture and history, nature and recreation, art and music, and national or local politics. If you have a news tip or idea, shoot her an email at!
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