Chatham has lost a dedicated public servant and a man of high integrity and character with the resignation of Mayor Vaughan. Many people may not be able to understand his sudden decision, many would suggest he should have just sat the next month out or went on vacation. However, and I say this with all sincerity, in his four years Mayor Vaughan was a man of vigor and tireless work ethic; as a friend, I know that it is not in his character to hold the position as merely a figure head.

While I trust and honor the decision of the voters, Mayor Nelson Vaughan's resignation should serve as a cold reality check on politics in Chatham Borough. Chatham once again has an all-Republican council, filled with men and a woman who are so close that they all endorsed one another in this past election. While camaraderie and fellowship are traits which should be applauded, I fear a council room in which there is not one dissenting voice.

Dissent allows for dialogue, it allows for bad ideas to be put aside, and it allows government to be more accountable and in turn more efficient. Mayor Vaughan was the last stalwart for balance in Borough government. His resignation is a sad day for those who believe that our government on the local level and beyond benefits from checks and balances.

Bassam Gergi, a close friend of Mayor Vaughan, is the former campaign manager to Congressional Candidate Doug Herbert.