Johnson supports city residents

To the editor:

In less than two months, the citizens of Steubenville will go to the ballot box and decide the next councilperson at large.

To me, the choice is easy — Michael R. Johnson is the right person for the job.

I attend council meetings on a regular basis. Since I regularly attended council during Johnson’s term as 2nd Ward councilman, I observed him in action. He was the consummate professional and always treated me and others with the utmost respect. Johnson was a very active councilman and always was looking for ways to improve Steubenville.

He was the author of various pieces of legislation to improve the city. To help provide the police department with additional tools to fight crime, Johnson authored the criminal activity nuisance ordinance and the drug use nuisance abatement ordinance. To help improve the quality of the city’s neighborhoods, Johnson authored the outdoor storage and neighborhood conservation district ordinances.

It is Johnson’s neighborhood conservation district ordinance that has directly impacted my life for the better. I have lived in my neighborhood for too many years to count. When I first moved into the neighborhood, it was a great neighborhood. Gradually, over time, things began to change. The low point came when a rental property in the neighborhood was used as a drug house. Our once-quiet and great neighborhood was no longer. The future of the neighborhood looked bleak. The neighborhood residents were discouraged and feeling helpless.

Help arrived when Johnson was elected 2nd Ward councilman. He hit the ground running in the first month of his term with a plan to help improve neighborhoods. One part of his plan was the neighborhood conservation district ordinance. This ordinance gave hope to the citizens of a neighborhood and empowered the citizens to have a role in the future of their neighborhoods. Rather than the future of the neighborhood looking bleak, we now had hope and an avenue to improve the neighborhood if a super majority of the neighbors believed it was the proper course of action.

Needless to say, my neighborhood embraced the ordinance, and we became a neighborhood conservation district in 2016. Since then, I have noticed a considerable change for the better. Our neighborhood is once again a desirable place to raise a family. That improvement is a direct result of Johnson’s vision and subsequent action.

I thanked him the other day for saving our neighborhood. Johnson responded by saying it wasn’t him, but the neighborhood residents who deserve the credit. The city now has 25 neighborhood conservation districts. I assume all of the residents in those neighborhood are just as happy as I am. I am asking all of the residents in those 25 neighborhoods to join me on Nov. 5 and thank Johnson by electing him as Steubenville’s councilman at large.

Butch Hennings



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