Art Warren has served the citizens of Clover Hill district and Chesterfield County with distinction for almost 24 years. We salute his strong Republican leadership on the Board of Supervisors as documented by the Richmond Times Dispatch:
Warren, 71, has announced that he will not run for the seat he’s held since 1991 representing the Clover Hill District.
Warren said he made the decision now because it felt like the right time to step away to spend more time with his wife, who is retired, and his five grandchildren.
He will, however, continue working at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
“You know, there’s a time and place for everything, and I felt it was the right time,” he said.
Warren said he decided to announce his retirement early to allow voters a chance to carefully consider who will replace him.
He’s supporting fellow Republican Christopher M. Winslow, a 35-year-old Midlothian attorney and Navy veteran.
“I’ve always felt that anybody that serves as long on the board as I have — since 1991 — owes it to the public to make sure they know well in advance that they’re going to need to vet somebody else for that position,” Warren said.
“For 23 years, all they’ve known in the Clover Hill District is me.”
As Warren takes stock of his two decades in office, he says he’s proud of how the county has managed its finances.
He points to a drop in the property tax rate and the addition of about 43,000 new jobs since he took office as particular points of pride. This happened as the county’s population grew by 120,000 and the number of students attending county schools increased by 15,000, he said.
Fiscal responsibility became especially important beginning in 2008 when the national economy went into a free-fall, he said.
In 2007, Warren was the only sitting supervisor to survive a voter mutiny that saw four of his colleagues tossed out of office. The new board took over shortly before the economy imploded.
The economic reality meant the board and county officials were forced to make tough decisions to survive the storm.
Supervisors, he said, were faced with a choice between raising taxes and cutting millions from the budget — they chose the latter.
The board, though, will likely have to face the prospect of raising the property tax rate again later this year. Warren, who’ll have one last chance to approve a budget, already says he won’t support an increase.
Warren, who began his political career as a young boy knocking on Connecticut doors for Dwight D. Eisenhower and Prescott Bush with his mother, said it’s been a good ride.
“I didn’t dream it was going to be as much fun as it’s been,” he said.
“I almost get teary-eyed over the thought of how fast it’s gone by. But in our lives, as we know, things move on. It’s just part of life. Everything has a beginning and an end.”