Meet the Candidate: Deron Johnston

It’s election season and the municipal campaign is in full swing!  I am pleased to present my Q&A series with our local candidates, and I hope it gives you a sense of who they are and what they stand for.  New profiles will go up every Tuesday and Thursday!

Election Day is October 27, and you can vote online or by telephone any time between October 20 at 10:00am and October 27 at 8:00pm.  Check the North Grenville website for more details!

Mark your calendars – the NG Times All-Candidates Event is taking place on October 16th from 6:30pm – 9:30pm at the North Grenville Municipal Centre {285 County Road #44, Kemptville, ON}

Deron Johnston

Deron Johnston

 

52WeeksNG: What do you love about North Grenville?

Deron Johnston:  The people.  I lived in Ottawa for 17 years and it was very difficult to get to know your neighbours living there.  It’s a totally different environment here.  I know my neighbours by name and they have been very helpful and generous with my son and I. Even total strangers are polite and helpful when you meet them.  There is a very strong sense of community here and I’m always amazed how much people help each other. I love it here!

52WeeksNG: Can you share a hidden treasure in your corner of NG?

Deron Johnston: That’s a tough question, because there are many. However, I love going to Geronimo Coffee House on Prescott St.  I didn’t drink coffee before, but now I love sitting down with a cup of cappuccino and talking to whomever walks in.

52WeeksNG: What are 3 – 5 issues that you would tackle if you were elected?

Deron Johnston:

  1. I would tackle the lack of authentic communication between the municipality and residents. Giving people more information about what’s happening in the municipality and letting people know sooner about things that are happening in their area. Letting people know how things that are happening in their area will affect them and giving people more notice about when public meetings are happening and giving them more opportunities for input.
  2. I would attempt to help downtown Kemptville renew itself and attract more shops and stores. I would want to make sure better signage was put up telling people where downtown is, where parking is and to create a walking path from the rear parking lot at Riverside Park out to Prescott Street so people wouldn’t have to walk all the way around to get to Prescott St.
  3. I would do whatever I could to ensure the survival of Kemptville College. We need the college to be more accessible to residents so they can get the education and training they need to get better jobs, and to help attract more business to the area because we would have a well trained work force. We also need to maintain the agriculture programs and bring back research money. The college could also be very helpful in economic development.
  4. The hamlets of North Grenville need to be supported better than they are, and they need to have more input into decision making that affects them. We should encourage strong community associations and give them tools to help them make their communities more enjoyable for the residents there. Services have been removed from the hamlets and centralized in Kemptville. If we’re going to remove services, we need to come up with a transit strategy to be able to bring people to where the services are.
  5. We need to slow residential development down a bit so that we don’t become a suburb of Ottawa, like Barrhaven is. We need to maintain our small town feel. People have told me that they moved here because they wanted to live in a small town. That’s exactly why I moved here. We also need to slow it down because we need to make sure that the infrastructure that new development needs is actually in place when needed, not years later.
  6. I would absolutely not support the Energy East pipeline!
Deron Johnston 2

{Photo submitted by Deron Johnston} Enjoying NG’s Green Spaces!

52WeeksNG: Why is it important to vote in municipal elections?

Deron Johnston: I believe that it is important to vote in municipal elections because municipal government is the level of government that most affects the day to day lives of all Canadians.  Things like roads, water, sewer, recreational activities and local businesses are governed by municipal government. You want to make sure that the people running your municipal government are good people that are doing it for the right reasons.

52WeeksNG: How do you like to spend your spare time?

Deron Johnston:  Spare time? I’m a single parent of a hockey player, I work multiple jobs, I’m knocking on doors every chance I get and when I get home from that, I do the social media for my campaign. I’m also on the board of directors for two community organizations and volunteer at the Kemptville Youth Centre. If I have a spare second, I love to listen to live music, cook for friends, go to Ottawa Red Blacks games with my son and explore the area where I live. Someday, I’d like to travel and see more of Canada and the rest of the world, and maybe get back to golfing a little.

52WeeksNG: What is one thing the people of NG might be surprised to learn about you?

Deron Johnston:  I was in involved in community theatre in my early twenties. However, listening to me sing and seeing me dance was not a pretty picture. No one will ever accuse me of being graceful.

Deron Johnston 3

{Photo submitted by Deron Johnson} Peaceful Kemptville Creek.

52WeeksNG: What would you like to say to the people of NG?

Deron Johnston:  I want to hear what people have to say. I want residents to feel that they have someone on council who listens to them and respects their opinions. If you want to talk to me, stop me in the street or call me on the phone. I’ll talk to anyone who wants to make North Grenville a better place for all of us to live, work and play. I want to be a voice for all residents of North Grenville. Working hard and working together, we can make great things happen here.

For more information, you can visit Deron’s website or find him on Facebook!

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