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Ex-Bardstown mayor makes return to office

By Randy Patrick The Kentucky Standard

BARDSTOWN -- Dick Heaton is Bardstown's new mayor.

All five of his fellow City Council members voted Tuesday afternoon to affirm the former mayor to serve once again as the city government's chief executive for the remainder of the current term, which ends Dec. 31, 2018.

Heaton immediately replaces John Royalty, whom the council removed from office for misconduct after a months-long investigation and a two-day hearing last week.

"All of us need to be united in pulling in one direction to move our city forward to restore the confidence and trust" that that the people have put in their city officials, he said.

Heaton compared what has happened to Bardstown to a house that could be torn down in a matter of hours, but that it would take months to rebuild.

"That's where we are today," he said, but promised to work diligently to address the city's problems.

Heaton was mayor from 2006-2010 -- the third generation of his family to serve in the role.

"I think we made the right choice," said Councilman Bill Sheckles, who was mayor before Royalty. Having served in the position, he said, he knows it is hard, but added, "I think we will see a lot of positive things happen" in the months ahead.

Councilwoman Kecia Copeland said she had not had the opportunity to work with Heaton when he was mayor, but during her time with him on the council, she considered him "a teacher," and looked forward to working with him and the other council members in a spirit of unity.

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