WARREN, Pa. – Warren City Council took the opportunity to recognize two of its own during Monday’s meeting.
Don Nelson, who recently stepped down after a long tenure on the Planning Commission, as well as Donna Risinger, retiring Finance Officer, were recognized for their years of service.
“It is with deep gratitude that we recognize both of them for their service to our community,” said Mayor Maurice Cashman.
Of Nelson, Cashman said: “We always appreciated your enthusiasm, dedication and always thinking of the city.”
Nelson has served Warren since 1976, beginning with his work with the Warren Jaycees, a leadership organization for ages 18-40. And until he stepped down from his post on the planning commission last month, he never stopped.
“That was 45 years ago and about 80 pounds,” Nelson said. “They (Jaycees) wanted to train young people to become leaders in the community. “The Jaycee creed begins with ‘I believe’ and the last line states ‘and that service to humanity is the best work of life.’ I believe that I’ve been a decent community servant. I think that I’ve offered some effective leadership and I’m pretty proud of the things I’ve accomplished.
“But I also believe that one of the great things that a good leader will realize after a while that there’s a time to move on. And that time came for me. And I have a lot of fond memories. One of my favorite quotes came from Margaret Mead, who said ‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’ Great things are going to happen in this community, I just sense it. My hope is that I’ve been able to do a couple of things to change things in this world and want to thank you again for the opportunity to serve.”
As for Risinger, she will officially retire on Aug. 31.
She began her career with the city in August of 1995 and in 2008, she became Finance Officer, a position she has held for the last 13 years.
“Donna has been, and I can this with all sincerity, a great asset to the city for the last 26 years,” Cashman said. “And although we’re sad to see her go, we wish her nothing but the best in the years to come.”
Added Risinger: “I guess it’s time for me to move on. I worked under three city managers, three solicitors, four police chiefs and I believe three mayors. I’ve really enjoyed my job here at the city. I’ve made lots of friends and met lots of people, so thank you everyone.”