Cathy Vaught: ‘Ready to serve, but not in an urban environment’

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Both candidates in the Fayetteville City Council Post 2 contest were invited to explain their views and policy positions. Cathy Vaught’s reply is below. Candidate Joe Clark’s reply will be posted when it’s received.

Cal, thanks again for your friendly invitation to further share my views. Here they are!

Many of you saw my recent announcement that I am running for Fayetteville City Council, Post 2. That also means I am running against incumbent Joe Clark.

Like many of you I have spoken with, I am concerned that the Fayetteville City Council is allowing the city to grow too fast in the wrong direction.

Many people I have spoken with or have heard from share those same concerns. Some have expressed the desire to leave rather than experience uncontrolled growth.

I heard from a man who had until last year resided in the Lafayette Park subdivision behind me, but decided to move to another part of the county when he saw the townhouse development going up in the neighborhood.

We are losing what makes Fayetteville special, which is that “small town” charm that attracted so many people, to include myself, to move here in the first place! I moved into this area in 1995 after retiring from the U.S. Army. During the 28 years I have lived here, I have witnessed major changes in population, residential and commercial growth.

The city has already overbuilt apartment units, creating a significant transient population as apartment leasing rates increase. Mixed use developments, packed into tight spaces, have also been planned for the downtown area. There are plenty of dense urban cities to the north in metro Atlanta, which is why many families want to move to Fayette County.

My opponent was in favor of urbanizing Fayetteville as a Planning Commissioner and is still in favor of it as a Councilman.

He has said that I am against multi-family units. How can that be true, when I actually live in an age 62-plus apartment building? I have stated publicly that I am against rapid construction of too many multi-family units and mixed use structures.

I support intelligent city growth with a supportive infrastructure that has minimal negative impact on existing neighborhoods and their residents.

As other metro-Atlanta cities have experienced, .I can assure you that the overbuilding of multi-family unit and mixed use complexes in downtown Fayetteville will lead to numerous problems, including more traffic congestion, strains on infrastructure, public safety and city services, and overcrowding in our schools.

As my opponent promotes more dense residential construction, Fayetteville taxpayers will have to pay more and more in taxes to expand city services to meet the increased demand.

This means that he is perfectly at ease with raising our taxes annually, which in turn impacts our senior citizens, low-income families and single moms.

Joe Clark has helped paint us into the corner with this problem. What is his solution to fix it? My solution is to put the brakes on overbuilding, especially in the downtown area.

As your next Fayetteville City Councilwoman in Post 2, these are your “Count on Cathy Vaught Promises” to Fayetteville voters:

• I will show the utmost care for our current families and will not damage their quality of life through continued poor real estate planning by our city government.

• I will not vote in favor of approving more multi-family residential complexes.

• I will act to get Fayetteville’s government to live within its means as the citizens of Fayetteville must do. Let us look for ways that Fayetteville would not increase spending that would not negatively impact services or city employees’ income. Let’s not increase taxes during a recession. Funds might be better spent retaining green space for recreational purposes.

• I will support rolling back the millage rates when property values increase in order to prevent double-digit property tax increases.

• I will support efforts to keep Fayetteville’s small-town charm and friendly atmosphere.

• I will carefully consider all requests for additional retail growth but will focus on attracting more corporate job opportunities with salaries that help citizens prosper. Filling empty retail spaces should be considered before constructing new buildings.

• I refuse to support open-container alcohol in downtown Fayetteville and in our parks.

• I support camera surveillance in our city playgrounds and parks to deter child predators.

•I support effective law enforcement and the prosecution of those committing crime in our community.

• I recognize that most Fayetteville citizens use automobiles for transportation, and I will make every effort to vote against proposals that create more traffic congestion.

I bring with me 20 years of experience as a 20-year U.S. Army veteran. I believe the various leadership and staff positions I held on active duty have prepared and qualified me to serve in city government.

When I am elected to city council, I will work hard to keep citizens informed and engaged in the decisions put before the council. I won’t become a city official who ignores my constituents once elected.

I encourage you to become more active within your community. Attend City Council Meetings and Planning and Zoning Commission meetings. Use the City of Fayetteville website (www.fayetteville-ga.gov) to become informed of local government agendas. All change begins locally!

We can all make a difference! Please vote early (Oct. 16th – Nov 3d) or on November 7th at your precinct municipal polling location, which is the Fayette County Library if you live south of Highway 54, or the Lafayette Education Center if you live north of Highway 54.

I would be very grateful for your support.

Cathy Vaught

Fayetteville, Ga.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The small-town feel is no longer available if the council continues to approve unnecessary buildings, whether apartments or expansive neighborhoods. I genuinely don’t understand why there are so many fast-food restaurants and storage businesses in Fayetteville. If you want Cobb County expansive with massive traffic jams, then move to Cobb County. Thank you, Cathy Vaught, for looking out for the citizens in Fayetteville.

  2. What a breath of fresh air! Many are in agreement with you and do not want it turning into another crowded city. Put the brakes on apartments is right, there are enough here already. The zoning does not need to be changed to suit deep pockets. There are plenty of fast food places along 85, we don’t need any more!
    Joe likes to hobnob with the builders and do their bidding. It’s obvious. Just look at what he has voted on. Some people can’t put two and two together and realize that certain crimes happen with a transient population and turning a small town into an urban nightmare. Why do people move to a nice, quiet area to get away from the rat race only to turn it into the rat race they left? This is the true definition of insanity. Cathy, you have run a good campaign and I trust that you will be a voice for those who do not want “progress.” Best of luck!

  3. Sorry Cathy, Fayetteville is a much better place than it was in the past. If you’re running on trying to take the good things out and spook people with references to transient populations, urbanization, and child predators in parks (good lord!), I think (hope) you’ll find yourself on the losing end of this election.

    I’m not sure who you have been talking to (although I have my suspicions) but you just need to walk around Fayetteville to see happy individuals and families sharing public spaces and having a good time.

    The things that have been added to Fayetteville are awesome. City Hall and the new park area, and how they connect to downtown and encourage spending time (and money) at all area businesses and gathering spaces, are good things. Sorry you don’t think so. I believe you are in the minority.

    Joe is an involved and engaged councilman. He is friendly and looks out for the best interests of the city and its citizens. He and the rest of the council have done good things and deserve our continued support.