Ellwanger to become Newborn mayor

Gregg Ellwanger will become Newborn’s next mayor, taking on the four-year term of the late Roger Sheridan.

Gregg Ellwanger will become Newborn’s next mayor, taking on the four-year term of the late Roger Sheridan.

NEWBORN — As the lone person to qualify for the position, Gregg Ellwanger will soon be sworn in as the mayor of Newborn.

The city was to hold a special election on March 18 after the death of former Mayor Roger Sheridan, who was re-elected to serve four years in November.

Ellwanger said he decided to run for the seat because he wanted to continue the work Sheridan had set out to do.

“He (Sheridan) did a lot for Newborn. He improved the roads, worked on a new water system and renovations for the school house,” Ellwanger said. “Unfortunately, with his passing in December, at that point someone needed to step up to the plate. I can see a lot of continued progression for the town, yet we can continue to keep the small town atmosphere.”

Ellwanger moved to Newborn in 2001 with his wife and together they have three sons. He is a physical therapist at Rockdale Medical Center as well as an athletic trainer.

Some of his goals for office include improving cell phone reception, whether that’s drawing in a company to install a cell tower or through the existing water tower; expanding sidewalks; and attracting new businesses.

“I want to keep an open atmosphere where citizens can express their needs. I would like to know about their ideas and problems so we can keep moving forward as a close-knit community,” Ellwanger said.

Because he was the only qualifier and no election will be held, Newborn will save around $5,000 to $6,000, according to City Clerk Elisa Rowe.

“The most cost would’ve been from the early voting required, which would take 21 days, eight hours a day and three people required to be in the office,” Rowe said.

Rowe said Ellwanger could be sworn in by the first meeting next month, March 3 or at a special called meeting on March 17.

Ellwanger will join his mother, Councilwoman Martha Ellwanger, on the council, but doesn’t expect it to become a conflict of interest.

“Our town is very transparent and I don’t expect any conflicts. The mayor position is more of a figurehead for the town,” Ellwanger said. “What I hope to do is let folks know who I am and help them continue to enjoy Newborn’s quality of life for generations to come.”