Johnson: ‘Something needs to change’

Published 9:33 pm Saturday, October 25, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Suffolk News-Herald has invited candidates for all of the city’s contested offices to submit 400-word columns soliciting the votes of Suffolk citizens on Election Day. A different race will be highlighted on this page each day through Thursday, Oct. 30. All of the candidates were notified of the opportunity at the same time via email, and follow-up telephone calls were made to verify receipt of the emails. Today’s page features the City Council race in the Holy Neck Borough, which pits incumbent Jeffrey Gardy against challenger Tim Johnson. Tuesday’s installment will include columns from candidates for the School Board seat from the Sleepy Hole Borough.

By Tim Johnson

My name is Tim Johnson. Many of you know me as the owner of Johnson’s Gardens on Holland Road, if not a friend or neighbor. I’m writing today, because I’m running for the City Council seat in Holy Neck.

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Holy Neck desperately needs representation that is accessible and accountable. You know where I am every day. I’m standing behind a florist table at Johnson’s filling orders, taking calls or talking with customers. I talk to Holy Neck residents every day, and after hearing their concerns over the last eight years, know that something needs to change. That’s why I’m running for City Council.

We need open discussion. Decisions that City Council makes need to be made in front of the citizens, not in private meetings. If I’m elected, when I make a mistake or a decision you disagree with, I expect you to let me know. You know where I am.

We need to rein in spending and reevaluate our debt. Hundreds of millions in capital projects have given us plenty of new government buildings and higher salaries for our top administration, but done nothing for our quality of life. If we invested a fraction of that money in our teachers, firefighters and police, we could have retained valued employees while letting them know they are appreciated.

We must re-form relationships between City Council, the School Board, and the employees of Suffolk. We are all working toward the same end, to make Suffolk the best city it can be for every citizen. This cannot be done with the amount of discord we have currently. We need discussion and shared ideas to arrive at the best conclusion with every decision we make. We’re not doing that right now.

I honestly can’t take credit if I’m elected. The people in Holy Neck are running my campaign. They have set out the majority of my signs, spread the word to neighbors, and handed out campaign materials door-to-door.

Holy Neck residents, not businesses or builders, have contributed every dollar that I’ve spent. I’ve received contributions from $500 to $5. People are giving whatever they can, because they truly want to invest in a change they know is necessary in our borough.

I’m invested too. This isn’t just a campaign for a city council seat, it’s a campaign for the place my family has lived our entire lives. We all know that Holy Neck deserves better.