DUNKIRK - Fredonia businessman Ron Johnson, the Independence and Democratic endorsed candidate for Chautauqua County executive, attended the Chautauqua County Fair at the Dunkirk fairgrounds to meet voters and speak to members of the 4-H program. Johnson focused his remarks to both parents and children on the importance of youth programs to the county's overall growth and success.
"We all have friends who have participated in the 4-H program," Johnson said. "I don't think I've met anyone who doesn't say how great of an opportunity the 4-H program was for them. I grew up on a dairy farm in Arkwright. I grew up with programs like 4-H that provided real responsibilities and management experience. It has been great coming to see what the kids of 4-H have done.
"The pressure on county budgets has resulted in severe funding cuts to 4-H over the last several years," Johnson continued. "However, the organization is working to build on alternative funding sources with less reliance on county tax dollars. This is an example where a public-private model of collaboration can work. We will work with 4-H and other youth organizations to seek adequate funding through a variety of sources so that the important mission can continue."
Fredonia businessman Ron Johnson, the Independence and Democratic endorsed candidate for Chautauqua County Executive, attended the Chautauqua County Fair at the Dunkirk fairgrounds to meet voters and speak to members of the 4-H program.
Johnson is the owner and operator of Johnson Adult Homes in Fredonia. He was the lead developer of Fredonia Place and has turned around five different assisted living facilities in New York and Florida. Johnson is a Vietnam combat veteran, former Town of Pomfret Justice and was inducted into the American Police Hall of Fame for his service as Chautauqua County deputy sheriff.
He described 4-H as "a life-changing program."
"Programs like this can be part of the solution to the problem of youth violence in our communities." Johnson said. "As your county executive, my highest priority will be improving our economic outlook. If we recruit new employers and expand our tax base, we will have a better opportunity to fund programs like 4-H. Our youth deserve an opportunity to participate in 4-H and also to be able to stay in Chautauqua County as young adults and give back to their communities."