Warren Long made Carrollton his home nearly 24 years ago after marrying the former Lisa Lord and settling in her hometown. Today, Long serves on Carrollton’s Board of Aldermen, one of five aldermen governing the town in the present and planning for the future.
“I wanted to add some common sense, and see what it was like,” Long said of his decision to seek a seat on the board.
Qualifying as a candidate for the board of alderman was Long’s first venture into politics, and once he took his seat at the table, he said his role as an alderman has been much more in-depth than he realized. Long and his fellow aldermen govern Carrollton in every capacity – from drinking water to garbage collection to streets and sidewalks to setting the local tax millage and approving the annual budget.
“In this little town, there are probably more than one-third of the population [over the age of 65] that don’t pay property taxes,” Long said.
Long said there is much work to be done with limited funds, but the board is doing what it can to make the town a better place.
“I work with a great bunch of people,” Long said. “Everything runs smoothly.”
Long said he enjoys his work on the board because he wants to make a difference in the community he calls home.
“I like knowing the decisions we are making are helping the community,” Long said. “The most challenging part is trying to make everyone happy.”
A mechanic by trade, Long said he is a detail-oriented person who wants to see the inner-workings of things, and his role in government is no different.
“I like to see how things work,” he said. “The trick is to put it back together, and have it work.”
A native of Greenwood, Long is currently employed at Delta Farm and Auto, but he started his career in mechanics at Ricks Motor Service, where he worked for many years.
“My grandfather taught me to weld and fix things at 12-years-old,” Long said.
Through the years, he said he has worked on just about everything – jet skis, wave runners, motorcycles. He even restored two airplanes with his boss, the late Vernon Ricks, who not only owned the dealership but was an airplane enthusiast with his own airplane hanger at the Greenwood Airport. Long said he and Ricks rebuilt a World War II Trainer [Aircraft] and a MiG 15 [Soviet Combat] Jet out of parts.
“Airplanes were [Ricks’] passion,” Long said. “We went to pick up an airplane frame in Texas.”
The Russian jet came all the way from Bulgaria.
“I had a big time with that,” Long said. “It took us a year to build it.”
Long said Wednesdays were designated for airplanes while the rest of the week, he handled repairs and service at Ricks Motor Service.
Rebuilding the airplanes was not Long’s only pet project over the years. He has a collection of classics he rebuilt “his way” – a 1965 Ford F100, a 1983 Ford Bronco, and a 1966 Ford Custom Cub.
“[The Custom Cub] has fancy chrome trim,” Long said. “I took it down to the frame and rebuilt it to be done right.”
But his “main ride” is his Kawasaki 2000 CC Vulcan when the weather is warm and dry.
Long’s love for motorcycles goes back to high school, he said, but he has also been seriously injured in motorcycle accidents – three accidents that were near brushes with death.
“Those three events showed me that God’s got me,” Long said.
Strong in his faith, Long serves as a deacon at Carrollton Baptist Church, and he and his family are very active in various activities and ministries.
“The most fun event they have [at the church] is the Lottie Moon Auction,” Long said.
A member of the “Tech Team,” Long is in charge of the soundboard, and he said the team is working to expand the church’s digital reach with live streaming of Sunday services. He said currently the service airs on Facebook Live.
Long said he doesn’t have a lot of free time, but he does enjoy spending time with his family. He and his wife, Lisa, are the parents of Will Cooper, who is married to Carrie, and Whit Cooper, who is married to Laurie. They have two granddaughters, Olivia, 3, and Maddie, 2.