Board Honors Morgan for Service
Friends and colleagues bade a tearful but accolade-showered goodbye to County Commissioner Cindy Morgan Tuesday night.
Morgan received a certificate of appreciation by fellow members of the Moore County Board of Commissioners, the Distinguished Public Service Award and an arrangement of red roses.
Board Chairman Tim Lea made the presentations, which ended with a standing ovation for Morgan, who was attending her final regular meeting of the commissioners.
Lea then called a five-minute recess to give friends and well-wishers an opportunity to greet the honoree.
Perhaps the warmest praise came from a commissioner whose views have often been at odds with Morgan's during her term in office.
"I appreciate her honesty and candor," said Commissioner Larry Caddell, adding that he had enjoyed sitting beside her. "Although we have disagreed on some things, she always treated me with respect, and I appreciate that."
Lea was joined by the other commissioners, Jimmy Melton and Nick Picerno, in praising her service and wishing her well.
"She has truly been an asset to this board," Melton said.
Staff members also offered their praise, starting with County Manager Cary McSwain and County Attorney Misty Leland. Social Services Director John Benton added his praise and thanks for her service as a member and chairperson of the social services board.
"Anytime she promised to do something, she did it," Lea said. "She never wavered - not once. She is an example of how a public servant should act."
Morgan responded with some humor.
"I want to make sure Richard knows they're talking about me," she said to the gathering in the historic courthouse in Carthage.
She was referring to her husband, a former co-speaker of the state House of Representatives, who was present for the meeting.
Then she turned serious by admitting that the commissioners have not always seen eye to eye on issues.
"It certainly hasn't been a bed of roses," she said of her term as a commissioner. "But the county is in sound fiscal condition. There have been no tax increases in my four years on the board, and I'm proud of that."
In a statement read to the gathering, Morgan warned the board to avoid cronyism, especially in the awarding of contracts and other practices.
Morgan, who has served as vice chairwoman for the past year, chaired the social services board until her term expired last summer. In addition to her regular duties on the board, she was an active member of the Emergency Services Advisory Committee, Nursing and Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee, and Drug Free Moore Committee.
Morgan also served on the Sandhills Center (mental health) Area Board and the Board of Health. Among her accomplishments were reinstatement of the Human Resources Board and recommendation and implementation of the County Government Efficiency Advisory Board.
In her capacity as commissioner liaison, she was instrumental in the merger of fire departments and rescue squads serving the Vass and Cameron communities. The result was formation of the Cypress Pointe Fire and Rescue Department.
Her recognition for the Distinguished Public Service Award noted that her "experience, research skills and attention to detail in tackling complex and highly publicized public policy issues have served the county well." She was also honored for never backing down "on issues that she felt passionately about because she was always fighting for what she believed to be in the best interest of Moore County citizens."
Morgan, who is completing her first term as a commissioner, lost to Craig Kennedy in the Republican primary election in May. Kennedy will be sworn in at the first meeting in December.
A native of northern Moore County, she is a registered nurse, with a master's degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has worked in recent years in nursing care administration. She is also a former trustee of Sandhills Community College.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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