Bardstown city council set to appoint a new mayor as community tries to return to normal
Bardstown's public works director serving as acting mayor following ouster of John Royalty
BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- The city of Bardstown is trying to return to normal now that the city's controversial mayor has been tossed out of office.
Bardstown is known as "The Most Beautiful Small Town in America," and it is clear residents are anxious to put the ugly episode at City Hall behind them.
Just hours after the Bardstown City Council fired John Royalty for official misconduct, he had already cleared out his office at City Hall.
Now that same council must appoint a new mayor.
“There will probably be a motion to nominate, I think, one person to be appointed as mayor,” said city councilman Richard Heaton, who presided over the Royalty hearing.
It's expected that Heaton, who is also a former Bardstown mayor, could be that person.
WDRB asked Heaton if we as open to accepting the job.
“Yes, I would accept the position if the council felt like I'm the right person to take over, sure,” he said.
The council meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
For now, the city's Public Works Director Larry Hamilton is acting mayor. Hamilton declined an interview, but others around town are talking.
Lifelong Bardstown residents Jim Brooks and Margie Bradford host a weekly show on local politics on WBRT radio. This week, it was all about Royalty's ouster.
“I think there's a sense of relief that this is over ... that we've reached an end, and now it's an opportunity for a fresh start,” Brooks said.
“We just want our town back the way it was -- the atmosphere that we've always had,” Bradford added.
As Bardstown tries to return to normal, the next mayor, whoever it is, faces a big challenge.
“We've got to regain the confidence of the community and their trust,” Heaton said.
WDRB reached now-former mayor Royalty by phone. He said he's “doing fine,” but referred all questions to his attorney.
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