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Lexington leaders present and past celebrate 50th anniversary of merged government

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton, second from left, was joined by, from left, former mayors Scotty Baesler, James Amato and Theresa Isaac for a 50th anniversary celebration of the merger of Lexington and Fayette County governments.
John McGary
/
WEKU
Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton, second from left, was joined by, from left, former mayors Scotty Baesler, James Amato and Theresa Isaac for a 50th anniversary celebration of the merger of Lexington and Fayette County governments.

Lexington leaders of today and yesterday gathered in city hall Thursday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a merged city-county government. After refreshments and music from the Bryan Station High School string quartet, Mayor Linda Gorton gave attendees a brief history lesson on how the merger came to be. 

“In 1972, 70% of the residents of the city of Lexington and Fayette County supported merger, voting to create the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council. It was a bold step into the unknown.”

On January 1st, 1974, the merger took effect, and Lexington became the first in the state and 19th in the nation with a merged government. Gorton said the decision helped build a fantastic city.

“A well-managed, innovative, welcoming, inclusive, efficient, nonpartisan city, where quality of life is high and cost of living is low.”

Gorton welcomed former mayors James Amato, Scotty Baesler and Theresa Isaac, along with former council members. She said each made important contributions to the merged government – and the city.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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