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Ronnie Johnston Q&A
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Ronnie Johnston

Questions from the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce:

In light of the recent events surrounding this race, how do you plan on restoring respect and dignity to the office of Mayor if you are elected?

A: Respect I believe is something you earn and I plan on earning the respect of all the citizens of Covington. To earn respect you must be open to the people, honest with the people and keep your word to the people. I plan on being a Mayor that puts in place a platform to allow all citizens the opportunity to communicate with the Mayor. As an example, I plan to put together neighborhood clusters so we can have organized meetings to be held in the neighborhoods so the people can have easy access to the Mayor. It would also be great if we can combine these meetings with a neighborhood watch meeting. I plan on making sure to establish a working relationship with the Chamber and County to promote Covington and Newton County to new businesses. It's clear to me if we are to move forward, we must ALL be on the same "TEAM".

Dignity will be established day one. I will treat people with dignity and expect dignity in return. I was raised by great parents, they instilled in me morals and values I believe are the best way to treat ALL people. My wife, Kelley and I are raising our four children by the same standards as our parents have taught us.

What role do you see the Covington/Newton Chamber playing in your administration?

A: My first question would be what can the city do to better work with the Chamber? One of the reasons I'm excited about being Mayor is working with so many people that are truly in love with Covington and want to see it move forward for ALL its citizens. I think the Chamber is an important function that with the city and county working as a team will be more successful. I look forward to working with the Chamber to become a part of a team that wants to move Covington in to the future.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the film and TV industry in Covington. Do you believe it is a positive or negative impact for Covington and what role do you see the City playing in it to support your opinion?

A: As I have said during the campaign I think the film/TV industry is a plus to the city of Covington. It brings business and jobs to our area. However, I also believe not everyone sees the value at the same level and this is where I see the city /Mayors role should be. In today's world it's hard to have solution that work for everyone. You have to take the time to communicate with the people to determine what would be the best solution for their concern. I want to make sure that our citizens and all business know that Covington is a great place to do business and as Mayor I will work to ensure our citizens and any investment in our City is successful.

Questions from The Covington News:

If you had to choose a single thing, what is the one thing that you plan to accomplish during your four-year term? How do you plan to accomplish this thing?

A: It's hard to say just one, but I will say the one thing I would be proud to accomplish is to bring our city together as one city with one vision. I have really been enlightened as I have listened and talked to many citizens. The one thing that has been frustrating is many people feel the city is divided, some say it's rich and poor others say it's race, but to me we are all one. All people deserve respect to be heard and an opportunity to be successful. So my major goal is to build strong communications and cooperation between all the elected officials and employees of the city. We need to be a strong "team" committed to being an even better community. I would do this by having town hall meetings, neighborhood cluster meetings and by all means of communications available to develop a dialogue between citizens and elected officials.

Having campaigned around the city for the past couple of months, what is the most valuable insight you've gained from Covington residents?

A: People deeply care about Covington, truly care. As I have gone home to home, business to business, I have been impressed with the amount of interest and pride that the citizens have in Covington and its future. It will be my job to build on this pride and interest. We can make a good city a great city, when we ALL work together. I have discovered people don't want empty promises but real commitments and that is one thing that my campaign has been based on.

Once again, what makes you the best candidate for mayor?

A: My campaign speaks of my commitment to integrity and a solid commitment to represent all the citizens of Covington. I will bring a fresh and new approach to the office. I have 25 years experience operating a successful business which employed over 400 people. I have put my personal career on hold to focus on giving back to a city my family and I have falling in love with. I have taken the time in the past year to be faithful in attending the council meetings and have determined ways to improve our ability to work together. I have knocked on the doors of most of the voters of this city and listened to their dreams and concerns for our city. I was surprised how many citizens told me that they have never been asked what they thought, well it's time for some new ideas and new attitude. I believe I can be a Mayor that will bring our city together to move to a great future we can be all proud of.