Tom Hawkins, Fairmont councilman at-large, read a statement at the end of the City Council meeting Monday. He addressed the happenings of the past few months, saying citizens were owed an explanation.

Hawkins said he drew on his experience running a business, working with other communities and taking “only the credible feedback” from constituents in making decisions.

He admitted to having a personal agenda, one focused on code enforcement, eliminating excessive efforts to comply with state building codes and convincing a vocal minority that the council is doing what is best for the long-term health of the city.

He listed the many boards and commissions on which he served or is serving, and mentioned the years he has relied on citizens while operating a business in Fairmont.

He said his motives have been aligned with what’s best for the city.

“I’m backing off my desire to seek new leadership for the city. It has caused too much division on the council, and since there’s now a targeted boycott of my business, I cannot afford to move forward,” he said.

“I’m not resigning, contrary to rumors,” Hawkins said, but will place a bigger focus on his business. “I will not be advancing any more issues that will cause division in the council.”