Portsmouth, Ohio Mayor Kevin E. Johnson spent the day shoveling walks, running errands, and keeping the citizens he serves up-to-date on road conditions in the city. The mayor had a day off from his job as a service technician in the fire safety industry due to the weather. However, Johnson did not spend his snow day in front of the TV. After cooking up a pancake breakfast for his family, Mayor Johnson and his wife, Angela, gathered up the kids and grandkids and hit the streets to help their neighbors.
Johnson posted on his Facebook page, “Our family is going to load up and head out in a little bit. If you know of elderly, shut-in, or somebody that you believe needs checked on, or maybe essentials from the store, feel free to send me a PM or call me. We’ll have snow shovels, jumper cables, and kid power to assist if you know a need. If you’re able please check on your neighbors, the elderly, and anyone you think might need assistance today. I’ll send updates about city streets during the day.” Johnson even posted his cell phone number so citizens could contact him throughout the day.
Mayor Johnson and his family traveled all around the city, updating citizens on the conditions of the roads. The mayor even suggested the best routes for those needing to make it up the hill to the hospital. He urged other citizens to follow suit and look after their neighbors. He even took requests in the comments from citizens to check out the driving conditions in various areas of town as well as updating folks on salt supplies at the hardware store and offering suggestions on where to find supplies.
Valuable Lesson For The Kids
Resident Beth Williams-Toombs thanked the mayor and his family for their assistance. “My sidewalk, steps n driveway are beautifully cleared! The most wonderful volunteers arrived with shovels n brooms in hand and got right to work! Kevin E. Johnson and Angela Byers-Johnson and their lovely hard-working kids dug me out of this snow and ice, while refusing my offer to pay for hot chocolate afterward. Show me a politician who thinks like that!?! Their only desire was for their kids to learn that serving others is more valuable than service of self. Portsmouth will miss you, Mr. & Mrs. Mayor!! Love the Johnson family more than they will ever know! God bless you all!!”
When another resident commented that she was stuck at home waiting to have a tire repaired and feared she wouldn’t make it out before stores closed early, Johnson told her to message him, so he could pick up groceries for her. He shared photos of kids Gabi, McKynna, Kalan, and Kohen working hard to help their neighbors on his Facebook page.
SCDN spoke to Mayor Johnson, who announced in January he would not seek reelection in the upcoming November election. He didn’t want any special credit for his actions. “What our family did today was just a simple act of wanting to help our neighbors. Angela and I have tried to always teach our kids about a servant’s heart.”
Mayor Thanks True Heroes
He said many other people were also serving their neighbors. “I’m not sure what we did today comes anywhere close to what many others are doing as we speak. As I type this message, we have workers in holes working in the freezing rain to restore residents’ water. We have workers driving plow trucks that haven’t seen their family or loved ones for many, many hours. There are dispatchers answering non-stop calls from many incoming lines. We have police and fire personnel patrolling and on 24-hr standby should the need for their service arise.”
Johnson also spoke of those always on duty to help their fellow citizens. “Then let’s think beyond those that are serving the city and think about first responder medical personnel, hospital workers, doctors, etc… These are the true heroes, these folks are the ones with the true servant’s hearts.”
The mayor was not the only good neighbor keeping a watchful eye out today. Another Portsmouth resident called 911 to report they hadn’t seen a neighbor in some time and were worried because an item left on the neighbor’s door was still there. Portsmouth Police and EMS conducted a welfare check and found the neighbor alive, but in trouble. An ambulance transported them to SOMC.