Ken Smith Becomes Director
Following the retirement of Perry Roquemore, Deputy Director/General Counsel Ken Smith was named the League’s fourth executive director in May 2011. Smith joined the League in June 1986 as a staff attorney and was named Director of Legal Services and Computer Programs in January 1999, Deputy Director/Chief Counsel in October 2001 and Deputy Director/General Counsel in June 2006. Throughout his tenure with the League, Smith provided advice and guidance to municipal officials and employees, wrote numerous articles on municipal government and co-authored the handbooks and guides used by all municipal elected officials in Alabama. He frequently addressed state and local officials, employees and others on matters affecting municipal government and served as a lobbyist for the League, helping draft, negotiate and lobby for the passage of many laws benefiting Alabama’s municipalities.
During Smith’s nine years as Executive Director, the League’s membership reached an all-time high of 454 out of 463 incorporated municipalities; technology was expanded to include both in-house servers and cloud resources, electronic publications and social media; and additional member services were developed, including the expansion of the Certified Municipal Official Program; a debt intercept program, Municipal Intercept Services (MIS); and League Law, an online municipal legal research system. Notably, the League elected its first African American female president, Lincoln Councilwoman Sadie Britt, in 2015.
Smith, along with the 20-member core ALM staff, continued the mission of the League’s founding fathers to empower municipal government through advocacy, education and the advancement of effective local leadership while remaining the voice of Alabama’s municipalities. He retired in May 2020 with 34 years of service and the League’s executive director position transitioned for the fifth time when then-Deputy Director Greg Cochran, a 24-year employee adept in advocacy and governmental relations, assumed the role.