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Vaughn resigns from city council; Geoghegan tapped to replace him

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Longtime public service no longer resident of city

By BEN CARLSON

City Council member Paul Thomas Vaughn has resigned his seat after selling his home and moving out of the city.

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Vaughn, who was serving his fifth term two-year term, is staying in Anderson County, just not within city limits, which is required to serve on the council.

“I really enjoyed serving,” said Vaughn, who retired from the Lawrenceburg Police Department and has been in public service nearly all of his adult life.

Mayor Sandy Goodlett called Vaughn leaving a “loss.”

“It really is,” said Goodlett, who just completed the second year of his four-year term as mayor. “Any time you lose a council member who has the experience he has, it’s always concerning where you go from here.”

On Monday, the city council voted unanimously to fill Vaughn’s seat with former council member George Geoghegan, who was voted off the council in the last election.

There was no immediate word if Geoghegan planned to accept the nomination.

By statute, the council had 30 days to fill the seat, or doing so would have fallen to Gov. Matt Bevin.

Vaughn said he made a recommendation on who he’d like to have finish his term. He declined to say who he recommended, but it didn’t appear to be Geoghegan, a retired attorney.

“I’ve recommended a young man who is not involved in politics,” said Vaughn. He is a good man … a good Christian man.”

Before Monday’s meeting, Vaughn said he had two main goals when he first decided to run for city council: revitalizing the downtown area and finding solutions to limit emergency vehicles being stopped by trains passing through town.

“The downtown issue is done,” said Vaughn. “Way back when I was in high school, you’d hear the same complaint that there’s nothing to do in Lawrenceburg. That has changed with how Main Street has been revitalized.”

Vaughn said Main Street began to change when the city council voted to purchase the land for Lawrenceburg Green under former mayor Edwinna Baker, and continued under Goodlett.

“The other thing was trains,” he said, noting that during a city council meeting earlier this year, first responders suggested using video cameras at the rail crossings in and out of the city, allowing first responders access to which crossings are affected and allowing them to plan response routes accordingly.

“That is a great idea and really helped solve this problem,” Vaughn said.

Asked what he considers his biggest contribution to the council during his eight-plus years, Vaughn said it was working with his fellow council members to keep a positive outlook on what they were trying to accomplish.

“We run against each other for our seats as competitors, but we have one goal and that is to make our town better,” he said. “I always tried to encourage a positive attitude … not to say we can’t but to say how can we.

“I like to think I’ve helped brings folks together to listen to each other and help them work as a team.

“I think that’s my biggest accomplishment.”

After a lifetime of public service, which includes being a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and his efforts with the Backpack Buddies program, Vaughn said he intends to leave public life and devote his time to his family.

“This is the best time of my life right now,” he said. “I have two grandkids that I see three or four days a week. I see my mom and dad every day and I even get to play golf three or four days a week.

“I have a full-time job being with my kids, grandkids and friends. I don’t want a job.”

Vaughn said he doesn’t envision another run at public office, particularly since because he no longer lives inside of the city.

“No, I’m a city boy,” he said. “I have no desire to go out, knocking on doors.”