Editorial: Public servant
Public servant. Those two words are often used, but rarely carry any real meaning. However, for Harvey Morgan, those words are the very definition of the man.
For nearly 32 years, Morgan has taken that mission to heart—quietly serving his friends and neighbors, listening to their cares and concerns, and representing them faithfully in Virginia’s General Assembly. Now that he has announced that he is stepping down from the House of Delegates at the end of the year, we wish him well in his retirement.
Growing up in Gloucester, Morgan knew the importance of a healthy Chesapeake Bay to this region’s financial, environmental and emotional well-being. He has worked hard to protect and preserve it for future generations, and fought for the men who made their living harvesting its bounty.
From his position as chair of the Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, Morgan has not been afraid to oppose members of his own party when it comes to saving the bay. Earlier this year, he publicly urged Bob Goodlatte, a fellow Republican, to change his position when Congress was considering drastic cuts to federal funding for clean-up efforts. Morgan has done what he believes is right, regardless of party labels.
More dramatically, Morgan ruffled a few Republican feathers in 2004 when he supported a budget-balancing tax increase proposed by Democratic Gov. Mark Warner. In this day of partisan bickering, Morgan has shown the ability to rise above the fray and do what’s in the best interest of his constituents. It’s a quality that is becoming increasingly rare these days.
Morgan has also fought for the average working man and woman who, faced with mounting bills, turned to payday lenders to solve their problems—only to find themselves in a continuing spiral of debt. Originally a sponsor of the 2002 bill that exempted payday lenders from the state’s 36 percent interest rate cap, Morgan has tried to make up for this move and continues to work to prohibit these lenders from charging exorbitant fees.
And he’ll continue working on this issue, and many others, for the seven and a half months he has left on his term. After all, he’s a public servant.