Johnson asks for city’s support

To the editor:

On Nov. 5, I am asking for your support and your vote to elect me, Michael R. Johnson, Steubenville’s next councilman at large. My experience and record as a city councilman, my professional background, my analytical and common-sense approach to identifying and solving problems, my ability to listen to and identify with citizens who are encountering problems in the city and my ability to think outside the box and look down the road uniquely qualifies me for the position of councilman at large.

During my term as 2nd Ward councilman, I promptly answered all citizen calls. I would often meet with them in person to discuss the problem. As a councilman, I demonstrated that I can recognize a problem, develop a solution for the problem and build a consensus to get the solution enacted by council. For example, I authored the Neighborhood Conservation District Ordinance and the Outdoor Storage Ordinance in an effort to improve the quality of the city’s neighborhoods. I recognized the city and the county were providing the same health care services two blocks apart and led the way for the consolidation of the departments, which has saved the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. If elected, I will use the same analytical and commonsense approach to solve the city’s problems as we move into 2020.

As council at large, all my actions will be geared toward making Steubenville a better place to live, work and play. How can we make Steubenville a better place to live, work and play? It starts with reducing crime. I will support all crime-fighting efforts and provide any additional crime-fighting tools that the police department needs. By reducing crime, the city’s image will improve which will positively affect economic development. The city must do a better job in providing basic city services such as recreation, improving our aging infrastructure, improving our neighborhoods, and become more business friendly in order to improve the livability factors for Steubenville.

I would like to address some fake news that is circulating on social media regarding my position on public safety. I always have supported public safety and have never advocated for laying off any public safety personnel. During my term on council, police staffing levels increased. A drug dog was added. I proposed building a new fire department building. There were 34 firemen when I began my council term, and there were 34 firemen when my term ended. During a budget crisis in 2015, to avoid layoffs, I recommended the staffing level of the fire department be reduced through attrition and not through layoffs. Fire Chief Carlo Capaldi took the same position when he stated in the Nov. 10, 2015, edition of the Herald-Star, “So I am proposing we start reducing our staff through attrition as vacancies occur.” I have never advocated for layoffs. All my actions have been designed to avoid layoffs. Those are the facts. Please don’t fall for the fake news and please consider voting for me on Nov. 5.

Mike Johnson