Former mayor and alderman Chuck Johnston has thrown his hat in the ring once again, running for the Ward I seat currently occupied by incumbent candidate Tom Cleaver.
"I don't like the way things are going," Johnston said. "There is no focus on roads, curbs, and infrastructure. When I was mayor, we had allotted 3.2 million over 3 years to the roads budget, and now it's dropped again."
Johnston also expressed disappointment in the building site of the new police station near the city's Butterfly Trail and expressed disappointment in the City's decision to expend City resources to file suit against Jackson County Election Board regarding their refusal to update the approved changes to ward boundaries in time for the April election.
Johnston is pleased with the growth in the city.
"We are getting a good mix of businesses. We (the city) have little control over which businesses decide to locate in Grain Valley and where, but I am happy with the growth we are seeing."
Another priority for Johnston is ensuring the city has the right mix of housing options for residents.
"One of the ongoing concerns for the board is deciding what mix of multifamily housing is appropriate. They (multifamily housing) have their advantages. Not everyone can afford to buy a home right away. It is important for the residents to have options."
Johnston said he would like to see a survey of residents to find out what they would like the city to focus its efforts on.
"It is important for the residents to have a voice in what they would like to see in their city."
Johnston was in the news in November after having been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, and offered the chance to comment, reflected on the incident.
"I had been going through a tough time the past year and a half, and what happened wasn't like me. I haven't had a ticket since the early 1980's. I regret what happened," Johnston said.
Looking to the possibility of a new term, Johnston said he is focused on infrastructure, smart growth in terms of businesses and housing, and listening to what the residents want in their town.
Valley News will profile each candidate on the ballot in the weeks leading up to the election, provide a voter guide, and plans a candidate forum on March 21st at Grain Valley South Middle School. To search for all election related articles, click on “Elections” under the categories on our News page. For voter information and links to resources, visit our Voter Resource page.
Chuck Johnston is running against incumbent Tom Cleaver for the Ward I alderman seat in the April municipal election. File photo.