Crystal Rogers family and friends upset after yard signs removed by city
Another blow has hit a Bardstown family still grieving and waiting for answers in the death of a loved one and the disappearance of another.
BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Another blow has hit a Bardstown family still grieving and waiting for answers in the death of a loved one and the disappearance of another.
A yard sign in Nelson County and surrounding areas are asking for information about the disappearance of Crystal Rogers and another sign offers a show of support for her family.
The problem started this week, when someone took down more than a dozen signs.
"It is $10 for a sign to show our support," said Raquel Benz, who purchased a sign.
Benz was eager to purchase one of the Standing with The Ballards signs.
"The $10 goes to the children of the family, Crystal Rogers' five children," Benz said.
But she's hesitant to put it in the ground.
"I don't want it to be taken down," she said. "I've paid for this sign."
The signs support the family of Rogers, who disappeared in July of last year. Her father, Tommy Ballard, was killed while hunting on Nov. 19 of this year.
"It is devastating to see everything that this family has been through," Benz said.
This week, a city employee started removing the signs.
"According to my code enforcement officer, he collected about 25, maybe 30 signs," Bardstown Mayor John Royalty said.
Mayor Royalty said with regret that the signs had to be removed because they violated a city ordinance.
"I am passionate and understand, but on the other hand, I have a job to do," he said.
The ordinance says, "If ground-mounted, the sign shall be set back at least ten feet from the right-of-way line or property line."
"As mayor, again, you know, I am sworn to uphold the laws of the state and the ordinance," Mayor Royalty said.
Bardstown City Council member Kecia Copeland says she understands that, but she believes it could have been handled a little better.
"To fix this, a public announcement could have been made," Copeland said. "Therefore, there wouldn't have been hurt feelings."
Mayor Royalty said he knows the family well and wants to help them.
"Me as a person and as the mayor, I support them a 110 percent, and I will continue to support the Ballards."
He also said the signs only came down after some calls to his office.
"I have also been fielding complaints for the last 16 or 18 months since Crystal Rogers disappeared," Mayor Royalty said. "People want the same rights to have signs out there expressing the loss of their loved ones, either through a DUI arrest or drug overdose."
Mayor Royalty said he is even willing to help replace the signs.
"If they want to put them back up, again, I've offered my personal time to the Ballard family."
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