Haines City Commissioner Morris West received the 2023 Ridge League of Cities Nettie Draughon Municipal Official of the Year Award at the September Membership Dinner Meeting in Haines City. West was presented the award by the 2022 recipient, Arcadia Councilmember Judy Wertz Strickland. She noted numerous achievements including his years of service to the City of Haines City and the Ridge League of Cities. West has graduated from all levels of the Florida League of Cities Institute of Municipal Elected Officials and is a recipient of the FLC Home Rule Hero Award. A Haines City native, he has spent most of his adult life giving his time and energy to the community with his focus on service. He worked with the Haines City Police Department progressing through the ranks to Chief of Police.
In presenting the award, Judy Wertz Strickland noted that this year the League received a record number of nominations. She noted that Morris West has served in every officer position of the Ridge League and currently serves as President of the Florida Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (FBC-LEO). Commissioner West is involved in many community non-profit organizations and takes seriously his responsibility to attend the events of his city and the Ridge League. The award is named in honor of the late Nettie Draughon from Plant City who served fifty-seven years with the city in numerous positions, and who the city hall in Plant City is named. The Award was first presented in 1994.