PORTSMOUTH – Portsmouth Mayor and 3rd Ward councilperson Kevin E. Johnson bid farewell to residents, city workers, and fellow members of council Monday night.
Johnson is a long serving councilperson who was selected as Mayor after the resignation of Jim Kalb in 2018. Johnson chose not to run for reelection in the 2021 election. Councilman-elect Andy Cole will fill his seat in January.
“I served with Kevin E. on council for a few years and have always been impressed with his energy, focus and determination,” remarked former 1st Ward councilperson Kevin W. Johnson. “As a councilperson and Mayor, I’ve also found him to have nary a mean bone in his body and to be an honest man.”
“These qualities I personally find to be rare amongst current elected Republican politicians,” quipped Johnson. “The City government and the City itself shall miss you being in the chair, Kevin E.”
Most of the council, City Manager Sam Sutherland, City Solicitor John Haas, City Solicitor Trent Williams, and City Clerk Diana Ratliff, also expressed their gratitude at Johnson’s service to the City of Portsmouth.
The Mayor thanked the City’s employees, his co-council members, the city administrators, and former council members he served with along the way.
“To those who supported me from the beginning and helped with campaigns, I thank you. To those who were always available with advice and encouragement – I thank you. To my family, my wife Angela – who is my rock – my daughter and her husband, my little boys and the rest of our kids who couldn’t make it here tonight: I thank you for always supporting me,” said Johnson. “Most of all, I want to thank God above for leading a man with such a humble upbringing to serve this city that I love so much.”
Johnson urged the council to continue to do their best and encouraged them to work with incoming council members Cole and Joey Sandlin. He also encouraged them to strongly consider who would become the next mayor.
“This position needs to be tempered with patience, understanding and most of all – civility,” said Johnson.
Finally, Johnson ended his final Ward report by saluting the resolve of Portsmouth’s residents.
“When I first interviewed to fill the remaining term of a councilperson, I was asked what I thought was Portsmouth’s greatest asset,” said Johnson. “I said it then and I’ll say it now – that it is the resolve of our people…Portsmouth, Ohio I’m very proud to call you my home and I believe our best days are ahead of us.”
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