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Elizabethtown Mayor Tim Walker died overnight.
Elected as mayor in November 2010 in a three-way race, Walker was a local businessman, Elizabethtown High School graduate and served as a city councilman from 1997 until he became mayor.
Known for his soft-spoken manner, Walker's method was to lead through concensus building.
“Coming in I didn’t have a personal agenda,” Walker said of the one-year anniversary of taking office. “The agenda I came in with is I wanted to change attitudes.”
Walker, 54, has overseen establishment of the Elizabethtown Nature Park, opening of the Elizabethtown Sports Park and a new tennis complex at Freeman Lake Park. He's been an advocate for downtown redevelopment and a supporter of the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame's desire to locate here.
His most recent $60 million budget proposal, which awaits final approval from council, includes continuation of the stormwater abatement plans, the extension of Towne Drive to Veterans Way and a 3 percent increase for city employees. Before going into private business, Walker worked for the city as a firefighter.
Elizabethtown officials deferred to Hardin Memorial Hospital for an official statement. The following release was issued at 8:32 a.m. today by HMH spokeswoman Michelle Murphy.
"It is with deep sadness that we inform the community of the passing of Mayor Timothy Walker this morning at 5:33 a.m. at Hardin Memorial Hospital. At this time, please keep the Walker family in your prayers. At the request of the family, please respect their privacy. Funeral arrangements will be handled by Brown Funeral Home.
"The cause of death is pending," the statement continued. "The body is being transferred to the State Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy by Chief Deputy Coroner Kenneth Spangenberger.''
During Friday morning's re-dedication of the Patton Museum of Leadership, Gov. Steve Beshear asked for a moment of silence during his opening address.