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Despite denials videos show removed Rogers signs held at Bardstown City Hall

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 — The county’s top elected officials issued statements Wednesday denying any involvement in claims on social media that signs supporting Crystal Rogers and family are being removed — despite Facebook video clips showing Crystal Rogers’ mother retrieving signs from an enclosure at the rear of Bardstown City Hall.

One of two video clips showing Rogers-related signs in an enclosure for confiscated signs behind Bardstown City Hall.

After a statement by the city’s human resources manager at Tuesday’s city council meeting about the missing signs, Mayor Dick Heaton’s office issued a statement Wednesday to clarify its policy for removing signs in city rights-of-way.

MAYOR DICK HEATON

“The City of Bardstown’s policy has never been to remove and dispose of the “Prayers for Crystal” signs out of respect for the family. The City’s policy has been to move any sign supporting the Ballard family out of the right-of-way.

The City of Bardstown has an ordinance prohibiting temporary signs in the public right of way and has been proactive in trying to make that ordinance clear to the public. All other signs are to be removed and stored at City Hall where the owners of those signs can pick them up at their convenience.”

The signs that are improperly placed on city right-of-way are usually removed and then dropped off at a wooden-fenced area at the rear of City Hall.

Despite the denials from Bardstown City Hall, two video clips posted to Facebook Tuesday evening by Mary Daniel Taylor show Sherry Ballard, Crystal Rogers’ mother, opening an wooden fenced-off enclosure behind City Hall after dark. Once inside, Rogers and another person sift through piles of confiscated signs and find two Rogers family-related signs in the stack.

The video has prompted outrage among supporters of the Ballard family, and supporters have been using Facebook since Tuesday night to call on the City to apologize for removing the signs.

JUDGE EXECUTIVE DEAN WATTS

Judge Executive Dean Watts also released a statement Wednesday to clarify the county’s policy on signs and those that are placed in rights-of way.

“Nelson County Code Enforcement has been instructed to remove all signs from the County right-of-way with the exception of “PRAYERS FOR CRYSTAL” and signs related to her father, Tommy Ballard. Nelson County does have an ORDINANCE prohibiting these signs in public right-of-ways but have and continue to allow those two types of signs to stay up out of respect for the family. All other signs are to be removed.”

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