Ben Johnston, of Crossville, has declared candidacy for DeKalb County Commission Chair.
Johnston, a Crossville High School and Auburn University graduate with a degree in Agricultural Economics, lives in Crossville with his wife, Michelle, and daughter, Katelyn. Johnston has operated a real estate appraisal business, Johnston Appraisal, in Fort Payne as a private business owner for over 12 years and recently opened a real estate sales business known as Highlander Realty. Johnston has worked in the private sector for larger corporations, as well as in state and local government, ALDOT and city of Huntsville, respectively and private business at present.
“I believe my work experience across a broad spectrum of business enterprises gives me a good background to help assist our local government in making DeKalb County a better place than we found it, to leave it and pass it on down,” Johnston said.
Johnston would like to look for more ways to improve our infrastructure, not just roads, but pedestrian, sidewalks, in the county.
“My brother, Bob, and I were fortunate growing up to live in such close proximity to the town park,” he said. “The park, looking back, was a great thing for us then and children today, a place to exercise and learn how to play well with others. I’d like to look for ways to assist our towns and cities in the county to enhance and expand recreation opportunities for our kids.”
Johnston also would like to revamp the ‘Adopt a Mile’ program in the county, to replace groups that no longer pick up litter and to expand areas that do not currently have a group to pick up litter.
“I’d like to erase the waste completely, but I also know there are only so many willing people to aide in that effort,” he said.
Johnston would like to recruit new business and industry with jobs that require higher degrees of learning, technical and college, but also help locally owned and small businesses.
“We need to look for companies that match our student-graduate competency of all levels and I feel we are failing short students that pursue learning beyond high school degrees. I think small business owners, locally owned businesses, are being left behind when it comes to incentives. We read in the paper often when some out of state or out of the country company comes to town and get tax breaks and incentives, but you rarely ever hear of a small business owner expanding to a few more jobs and building on to their business and getting any help. I’d like to see that change. We can do better.”
Johnston is a member of Mount Vernon Baptist Church of Albertville, serves on the board with Bread of Life Ministries and is a member of Valley Head Masonic Lodge, a duel member with Geraldine Masonic Lodge and a member of Cahaba Shriners.