Former councilman now serving village’s youngest residents
WELLSVILLE — No one ever accused John Richard Morrow of not taking on a challenge.
The former village councilman recently was appointed to Wellsville’s school board in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic to fill the vacancy left in May by the passing of Thomas Brophey.
He transitioned over June 15 after serving eight years on their village council and failing to get re-elected after a signature snafu forced him to run as a write-in.
“I wanted to keep serving my community,” he explained.
Although some had suggested about trying again, as two seats are coming up open, he didn’t want to run against the two incumbents, as Morrow believed they were doing a good job.
Morrow said that his decision to seek the seat appointment, centered around the village’s need to retain their students after graduation. He believes if they find jobs and other service ties in their community that they will be less likely to go elsewhere.
“I’m hoping that if the kids and the community can be closer that they can appreciate the history of what we have here,” Morrow added. “Engagement helps the youth in Wellsville keep attached to the community.”
The school district is doing a lot of things right, he acknowledged.
“It is important for us to get Wellsville a good foundation for (their post-secondary education) life,” he explained.
Morrow himself is a 1995 alumni of Wellsville High School, licensed as a insurance agent but employed currently as a full-time Uber and Lyft driver.
He also founded Moving Wellsville Forward.
While the pandemic resulted in the cancellation of some community gatherings this year, like the Fourth of July festivities that he touts, Morrow is unsure how many other of those events — like the annual car show and Christmas in the Village –might have to be postponed. Still, he recognizes the importance of these events and class reunions to the community.
After all, as Morrow explains, he himself moved back to Wellsville from Akron, where he had settled after attending college. The school camarederie he found in Wellsville, where they “bleed orange and black,” was still there, he had learned.