Councilman explains actions on transfer station issue

Mon, 01/14/2008 - 10:18am
By: Letters to the ...

Dear Editor:

Since I have become a member of the Fairburn City Council, or in any other capacity for that matter, I have never felt the need to respond to criticism, public or private. In fact, I normally welcome and honor anyone who would challenge my opinions or actions, and receive such concern as a useful tool in seeking the solutions to the many challenges we are elected to manage. But I take great exception to the recent comments of a reader that challenged my concern for this city. I take commitment to community very seriously, and have spent the last fifteen years of my life contributing to the betterment of Fairburn and South Fulton in a number of ways. And to have that commitment and concern challenged because of my absence from a court room proceeding that was a forgone conclusion is unfair and insulting. Furthermore, as far as the Walker Brother’s issue is concerned, I would like to recall that it was I who made the motion calling for a public hearing on this matter on the night that it came before the council for site approval.

I would also point out that if a vote had occurred at that time it almost certainly would have passed. I and others wanted more time to hear the many legitimate concerns being voiced by the public that night. Personally, after much research and fact-finding, I decided to strongly oppose the transfer station. I reached this conclusion not so much as a result of the passionate arguments of the public, but more as a result of my informed opinion that this particular site was not in the best interest of our community. And I would also like to add that if I had thought otherwise, I would have voted that way no matter the political consequences. Let me state emphatically, that concern for one’s political future should never be a factor in deciding what’s best for the future of Fairburn. We are elected to make decisions based on what we believe is right and in the best interest of the community. Public input is very important in the process, but can sometimes be clouded by passion for a particular issue. I would also like to say that I am only involved because I live, work, and am raising five children in Fairburn, and therefore have more than a personal and vested interest in the future of our community.

And if I thought for one second that my presence at that court hearing would have made a difference I would have put off my family commitments and been there. I also wonder why those criticizing the city council have nothing to say about the obvious “lack of concern” on the part of more powerful government officials who were quick to make speeches in front of an impassioned public, but have yet to wield their power and influence in any meaningful way. The entire Fairburn City Council voted unanimously to reject the site approval, doing the public’s bidding on this matter. Mistakes were made before and during this process, and criticism of this issue is fair. But if we as a group weren’t concerned, we wouldn’t be on the council in the first place. I will conclude by saying that I am still in opposition to the site of this transfer station. And even though Walker Brothers has received a favorable judgment at this point, I would hope that we as a community can be more constructive in our efforts to settle our many concerns for this and other projects.

Please feel free to contact me about this or any other issue at

Scott Vaughan


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