Mayor Billy Whitenack has revealed that he is resigning. Whitenack, who currently lives in Harrodsburg, said he and his wife have purchased a home outside the city limits. He said he plans to officially resign next week.
“This will give the new commission a chance to pick a replacement,” Whitenack said.
Whitenack won reelection in November after running unopposed. He retired as chief of the Harrodsburg Police Department in 2018 and won election to the Harrodsburg City Commission in 2020. Originally selected by the city commission to serve as mayor pro tem in case of the absence of Mayor Art Freeman, Whitenack was selected to succeed Freeman, who resigned for health reasons not long before his death in 2021.
Whitenack said there will be another mayoral election next year, when voters will also get to vote on the governorship. The primary is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16, 2023, while the general election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.
Originally from Salvisa, Whitenack served 20 years as a police officer, starting with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Harrodsburg Police Department in 2008. Named chief in 2012, Whitenack reorganized the department’s hiring policy, led an effort to finally get the department accredited and raised more than $150,000 reselling military surplus equipment the HPD received free from the federal government.
As a city commissioner, Whitenack criticized the way the city handled neglected properties, questioning their inconsistency in enforcing deadlines for code enforcement violations and how the city did not using certified mail to notify property owners or serve warrants. As mayor, Whitenack worked with City Attorney Norrie Currens and the staff at city hall to make that process more efficient and consistent.
Whitenack and the Harrodsburg City Commission cleaned house in the street department, voting in June 2021 to fire Public Works Supervisor Albert Moore for failing to supervise his workers and to accept the resignations of five employees from that department.
Whitenack and his wife plan to move into their new home within the next three weeks. He said he will miss being mayor but will still try to help Harrodsburg any way he can, including possibly through volunteer work.