Announcement marks first time in the history of the KLC awards program that the City of Somerset has been a recipient
SOMERSET, KENTUCKY (August 24, 2021) — Somerset Mayor Alan Keck has been selected by the Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) as the 2021 City Elected Official of the Year, a statewide honor that recognizes city officials who take creative and dynamic approaches in their communities.
KLC — a nonprofit membership association serving more than 380 Kentucky cities and municipal agencies — gives three awards annually, including City Government of the Year, Elected City Official of the Year and City Employee of the Year. An independent board of judges from around the state selected this year’s winners.
This is the first time in the history of KLC’s awards program that the City of Somerset has been a recipient.
KLC Executive Director and CEO J.D. Chaney remarked on Mayor Keck’s innovative approach to city government.
“He is not afraid to embrace new ideas and is a passionate advocate for his city and the entire region,” he said. “We appreciate the contributions Mayor Keck has brought to KLC and the positive change he has brought to Somerset.”
Keck was nominated because of his expedient efforts to unify Somerset and light it up through tourism, economic development and community spirit.
This transformation has included building a brand for the city to help attract and retain people and commerce; changing the culture in city hall to one where employees are treated with respect and open and honest communication is encouraged; providing record investment in first responders through salaries and equipment; introducing festivals that have attracted nearly 20,000 people downtown; investing in revitalization efforts and outdoor art projects to make downtown more vibrant; launching SPEDA, a new city-county partnership that views economic development holistically through the lens of quality of life and place; and recruiting the community’s first bourbon distillery.
Keck was also nominated for being a champion for local government during the COVID-19 pandemic, advocating for Main Street and taking a proactive approach to holistic community health by launching his Healthy Somerset initiative during this time.
Keck was elected mayor in November 2018. Born and raised in Somerset, Keck said he is grateful for the opportunity to serve.
“Serving and leading my hometown has been the honor of a lifetime,” he said. “Learning I was chosen as City Official of the Year from so many outstanding leaders across Kentucky is both humbling and exciting. It’s another reflection of the great progress we’ve made in Somerset. I may receive this honor as the leader of this community, but this award isn’t just about me. It’s about the team of people that have helped achieve a vision of a better Somerset — a supportive city council and an amazing city staff. This team is second to none. Their work and support are the reason we’ve been able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time, and for that, I am grateful.”
Keck is a 2003 graduate of Somerset High School, a 2007 graduate of Western Kentucky University and earned his master’s of business administration degree in 2014 from the University of the Cumberlands. He serves as a deacon at First Baptist Church, where he also teaches Sunday School, and is a member of the Kentucky Baptist Convention Public Affairs Committee. He was a member of the 2017 class of Leadership Kentucky and now serves on the organization’s board of directors. He is also a member of the KLC board of directors. He has been deeply involved with the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, serving on its National Council between 2017 and 2019.
Keck is married to his wife of 12 years, Tiffany, and they have three daughters, Olyvia (9), Oaklee (7) and Olsen (4).
KLC will formally present the award to Keck in Somerset at a later date.