By Tia Lynn Ivey
As we begin a brand new year, 2017 also brings new leadership to Morgan County as Ellen Warren vacates her seat on the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC).
Warren, who has served on the BOC for 12 years, lost to Republican opponent Philip Von Hanstein during the November elections. But Warren believes this may have been a blessing in disguise after she received grave news this past December. Warren was diagnosed with a Multiple Myeloma, a painful, but treatable bone marrow cancer.
“Sometimes things just work out for the best,” said Warren. “Had I won, I could not have stayed in office. There was no way I could be a commissioner and do the job that it requires and that the citizens deserve.”
Warren reflected on the last 12 years, pleased with the progress the county has made during her time on the BOC. “I am very happy with the things that have been accomplished in the county over the last 12 years. There has been so much progress in so many areas,” said Warren. “We established the recycling service, put in e-mail, built a new library, aquatic center, and public safety complex. We have made tremendous progress on improving our roads and bridges. Even in the worst of economic times beginning in 2008, we were able to reduce the millage rate every year except for one. We were very conscious of people’s needs and the difficulties they were going through, so we cutback and became very efficient. And I think that is to be commended.”
Warren is also hopeful over the direction the county is headed as she leaves office, believing the new hospital will be a crucial component to the county’s economic development and quality of life for local citizens.
“I think the county is in great shape, we do have some challenges, but I think we are just going to get better and better,” said Warren. “It has been an immense privilege and honor to be able to serve the people of the county and of my district. I care deeply about the citizens…Sometimes, the decision you make are not in your own best interest, but are in the best interest of all. I think that’s what I tried to do, to make decisions that were in the best interest of everybody.”