GLASGOW — Ann Stewart, executive director of the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission, tendered her resignation Tuesday, effective May 3.
Stewart has served as executive director of the tourist commission for about 12 years.
“It's just time for me to retire,” she said after Tuesday's monthly meeting of the tourist commission. “My health has not been good for the last two or three years, and that's my diabetes that I'm talking about. I've worked ever since I was 12 years old. I babysat. I worked during high school and during college and I worked after college. I'm just ready to do nothing, because I can do it.”
Stewart is a Type I diabetic and has had the disease since she was 10 years old.
Prior to taking the tourist commission's executive director's position, Stewart worked in the marketing department for Gray Construction in Glasgow for 22 years.
“I did a lot of things while I was there,” she said.
The construction company closed its Glasgow office in 2006 and moved its business to Lexington, but Stewart chose not to transfer to the company's Lexington office.
Stewart had always volunteered for the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce so she knew how the chamber of commerce worked, but said she was not all that familiar with the tourist commission.
“I knew people who were on the tourist commission,” she said.
When the tourist commission advertised the position, she submitted an application, underwent interviews and was then hired for the job.
Stewart said she plans to stay active in the community.
“For a while, I won't be as active as I am now,” she said.
She intends to remain active with the Cave Country Trails Inc. board of directors.
“That's real important to me. And I've been asked to stay on that committee,” she said. “And there are two or three committees that I may stay on, but I don't know. I may get home and like it. I'm just going to relax for a while.”
Stewart continued she is naturally hyperactive and doesn't rest very easy.
“So who knows what the future will hold,” she said.
At the end of Tuesday's meeting, the tourist commission met in closed session to discuss a personnel matter. Stewart was asked to step out of the room while the tourist commission met.
When the tourist commission resumed its open meeting, Stewart was called back into the room and Robert Smith, chairman of the tourist commission's board of directors, explained to her what the tourist commission had decided to do in regards to filling her position due to her retirement.
"Of course Ann we've gone back into open session and we have appointed a search committee," Smith said.
But when the Glasgow Daily Times asked Smith for clarification regarding the search committee via text message, he said the tourist commission discussed the search committee during closed session and announced it during open session.
The Kentucky's open meetings law prohibits a public agency from taking final action during a closed session, meaning the tourist commission could not make a decision regarding the search committee while still meeting in closed session.
Smith announced during open session who will be serving on the search committee. Members of the committee are: Smith, Jay Chaudhary, Peggy Bates, Amy Hiser, Glasgow Mayor Harold M.D. Armstrong and Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale.
After Tuesday's meeting, Smith said it was too early to say what type of candidate the tourist commission is looking for to serve as its next executive director.
“We may change the entire format of how it's done, so it's really early until after we meet at least the first time,” Smith said.
By saying “entire format,” Smith said he was referring to who employs the executive director of the tourist commission.
Stewart is actually an employee of the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce and not of the tourist commission, even though the work she has done is for the tourist commission.
A date and time for the first meeting of the search committee has not yet been set, but Smith said when it does meet, if all members attend, it will constitute a quorum and be subject to Kentucky's open meetings law.
The tourist commission also voted to pay Stewart's salary for the month of June.