Fredonia business leader Ron Johnson, the Democratic and Independence candidate for County Executive is so certain that Chautauqua County’s recent history of massive job losses can be turned around he is willing to risk his own future on it. Johnson says if he can’t turn the county’s 7,000 plus job loss into job growth during his first term he won’t seek re-election.
Speaking in front of the recently closed AFA food plant formerly known as Fairmount Foods near Ashville Johnson said: “Long established county firms are cutting back or leaving the area. Potential employers are frustrated in their attempts to invest by our county’s lack of planning and infrastructure. This recently closed plant is an example of this. And yet county leaders claim they are powerless. They blame state mandates, they blame the Federal government, they blame each other.”
“As leader of a local business I know the realities businesses in our county face. High state taxes and mandates are a problem. But successful business operators find solutions and grow despite outside forces they have little control over. I believe with the right leader our county can do the same.”
“I’ve already announced my intent to re-invigorate our county Economic Development Department and Industrial Development Agency by bringing in new leadership and by strategically reallocating these units resources. I’ve outlined how we can use the state’s new Start Up New York program to bring new, family sustaining jobs to our area. Over the next several weeks I will be announcing several additional initiatives to stimulate economic growth. “
“Our first priority must be good paying jobs for our citizens. Our children and grandchildren must be able to return to our county with the knowledge that good job opportunities await them. When I’m elected in November you’ll not be hearing me complaining that I’m powerless and blaming others for our difficulties. We will be growing good jobs or I will not be seeking reelection.”
Johnson is a fifth generation Chautauqua County resident, owner and operator of Johnson Adult Homes in Fredonia, and was the lead developer of Fredonia Place. He has turned around two different assisted living facilities in New York State and Florida. Johnson is a combat veteran of the Vietnam conflict, former Pomfret Town Justice and is a retired Chautauqua County Deputy Sheriff.