By Portia Williams
The Village of New Boston was silenced Saturday after hearing of the passing of longtime Mayor James Warren at age 78. Flags were lowered to half mast in the Village on Saturday afternoon in Warren’s honor, remembered as a warm-hearted, kind leader who was more than a mayor, but a friend to all.
William D. “Junior” Williams, Jr., the acting mayor of the Village of New Boston, said Warren’s passing is extremely sad.
“I am truly saddened to learn of Mayor Warren’s death. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” Williams said. “He will be greatly missed by all of the New Boston community. Mayor Warren was one of the most popular, and well-liked citizens in the history of New Boston. He was a respected leader, educator and everyone was proud to call him friend. I would ask that all of the people in New Boston take a few moments of silence and remember Mayor Warren in their own special way.”
In 1993 Warren was first elected the first republican mayor of New Boston in almost 50 years. He took office in January 1994, following the term of Acting Mayor and New Boston Council President Marcella Newman — who filled the seat to complete the unexpired term of Mayor Charles Ottney upon his resignation.
Warren was completing his fifth-term as mayor, and had filed for re-election in November before falling ill. He passed away Saturday at Best Care Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Wheelersburg.
Mike Payton, New Boston village councilman, said he was at a loss of words when he found at that Mayor Warren had passed away. He said losing Warren is a huge loss, not only to New Boston, but to other areas, and said that Warren’s tireless dedication to the village was uncanny.
“He retired from the school as the principal on a Friday, and on Monday, he took over as Mayor of New Boston,” Payton said. “To my knowledge he never took a vacation. This was his life, the Village was his life. He taught me a lot, as far as being a man, and being a politician, and learning how to work with people, and how to understand people, he taught me all of that. This is going to hurt from a community standpoint up here, but also from around the county.
In addition to serving as Mayor of New Boston, Warren served on the Southern Ohio Port Authority board, Scioto County Children’s Services board, The Scioto County Community Action board, to name a few.
Numerous business and industries came to New Boston under Warren’s leadership, Infra-Metals, Vinyl Kraft Windows, and a variety of others in the New Boston Mall and K-Mart Mall.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.