Hear it From Warrenton's Town Council
We've released unedited video segments from the February 14, 2023 Warrenton Town Council public hearing where council members voted 4-3 to approve an Amazon data center despite the almost unanimous opposition from the public.
Given the significance of this vote and the consequences for the town and its residents, it is important to bring to the forefront how each council member voted and why … “In Their Own Words.” We apologize in advance, as some of the videos are a little long, but we thought you should hear unedited comments to avoid confusion.
View remarks one-by-one below, or click here to see the full campaign.
Sorry, Council Members, You Can’t See the Information Before You Vote
First up, hear the discussion following a request by three town council members to see information involving Amazon that the town withheld from the public. They wanted to see the information before voting on the data center as it could affect their decisions.
The request by council members, McGuire, Mooney and Semple, had to be put to a vote for reasons that were never explained and the request was denied (4-3) by the same four council members Hamby, Hartman, Heroux, Sutphin who would vote to approve the data center.
Voted in Favor
The next four videos contain the unedited comments of the four council members Hamby, Hartman, Heroux and Sutphin who voted for the data center and their reasons for doing so. Because there are seven members on the council and the majority rules, these four members are responsible for the approval of the data center. Mayor Nevill, widely believed to be a strong advocate for approval of the data center, did not vote and only does so in the event of a tie.
The comments from the four who voted in favor include praise for Amazon and its proposal, their love for the town, and proposed that the data center is necessary for economic development. None of the four council members shared how the data center would adversely affect the health, property values and quality of life of town residents, opting instead to offer rationalization after rationalization for their votes. First up, Council Member Hamby …
In sharp contrast to those who voted in favor of the data center, the three who opposed it, council members McGuire, Mooney and Semple focused their comments and their decision on what most believe to be true and the real issues. They expressed heartfelt concern for the citizens, rejected the notion of a silent majority who wanted the data center, regretted how the town council had lost the trust of its citizens, and failed to follow its ordinances and adhere to the comprehensive plan.
The bottom line is that those who voted for the data center mostly offered rationalization after rationalization for their decisions, while those who voted against it, spoke about what was right for the town and its residents. First, Council Member McGuire...