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Bill Summers Retiring; Public Reception Set for Feb. 28, 5 p.m.

Monday February 6, 2012

Ish Burks to replace Summers as Interim Chief Administrative Officer

William Summers IV, who has served top leadership roles in Louisville city government over four decades and is currently Chief Administrative Officer overseeing all aspects of public safety, announced today that he will retire, effective March 1.

“It has been an honor to serve my hometown, a community that I care for deeply,” Summers said. “The past four decades have seen significant progress, advancements in all areas of Louisville, and I was fortunate to be involved in many of them.”

Summer said his final project is assisting Fischer with the selection of a new police chief, noting that process marked a natural ending to his city career.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced that Ish Burks, interim police chief, will become interim Chief Administrative Officer once a new chief is named.

“Ish has done a fantastic job as interim police chief,” Fischer said. “My team and I look forward to further working with his impressive leadership and administrative skills.”

A public reception for Summers will be held on February 28, from 5 p.m.- 7 p.m. in the 2nd floor rotunda of Louisville Metro Hall, 527 W. Jefferson St.

The reception will include light refreshments and is sponsored by Central Bank, Greater Louisville, Inc., Kentucky Derby Festival, Louisville Urban League, Thorntons, Recovercare, White Castle and the Louisville Metro Police Foundation.

Fischer also announced today that he will appoint Summers to an open seat on the bi-state Bridges Authority, which is overseeing the development of a financing plan for the Ohio River Bridges Project. Summers replaces Joe Reagan, the former president of Greater Louisville Inc, the metro chamber of commerce, who recently took another job in St. Louis.

“Bill may be retiring from the daily work of government, but his desire to continue to serve our region on the Bridges Authority is a show of citizenship from which we can all learn,” Fischer said.

Summers has devoted much of his life to making Louisville a more vibrant city

“His deep knowledge of government and his roots in the community were critical in the first year of my administration,” Fischer said. “Bill has been a mentor and role model to me and to many others, especially young African-Americans. Our city is grateful for his wise and compassionate leadership and service, and I deeply appreciate his willingness to stay beyond his original retirement plans of a year ago.”

Summers first job in city government was in 1968 as an administrative assistant for Mayor Frank Burke, supervising day-to-day operations, including being a liaison with the former Board of Aldermen.

He was director of the city sanitation department for three years and in 1985 was tapped by newly-elected Mayor Jerry Abramson to become a deputy mayor, a role he served from 1985 to 1999 and again after city-county merger, from 2003 until 2010. Summers had planned to retire in 2010, but newly-elected Mayor Fischer convinced him to stay with city government, to assist with the transition.

Summers was named Chief Administrative Officer in January 2011, overseeing agencies including Police, Fire, Emergency Management Services, Emergency Management Agency and Public Works.

Summers has been active in Louisville’s business community, serving as executive vice president of GLI from 1999 to 2003. He was also owner and president of Property Maintenance & Management Company and was operations manager and talk show host at WLOU-AM, a station founded by his father, William Summers III.

Summers is a graduate of Central High School and studied political science/communications at Kentucky State University.

He is honorably discharged from the United States Army and was a member of the Kentucky National Guard. He has been involved in numerous civic organizations, from Actors Theatre to West Louisville Jaycees and served as chair of the Kentucky Derby Festival. Summers also was active in the successful campaign to merge city and county governments and for much of his career with city government was the highest-ranking African-American leader.

Summers is an avid UK Wildcat fan and said he looks forward to attending more basketball games and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

A public reception in honor of Summers is being planned for the rotunda of Metro Hall. Details will be announced later.

“Bill Summers defines the term, public servant,” said Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, the former Louisville mayor for whom Summers served as deputy mayor for 21 years. “For more than four decades, he has been a skilled leader, a thoughtful advisor and a true conscience for mayor after mayor. No one has shown more dedication to improving his hometown than William Summers IV.”