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Johnson ready to ‘do more for Clio’ as mayor: Lifelong resident is first African-American mayor

As the first African American mayor of Clio, Kenneth Johnson is excited, ready and highly motivated to revive the heartbeat of his hometown.

After serving on the Clio Town Council for 20 years, Johnson was sworn in as the town’s mayor at 5:30 p.m. November 2 at the Clio Town Hall.

Johnson said he is honored to serve his hometown as its mayor and his looking forward to the opportunities for service as well as the challenges.

“I have lived in Clio all my life and I love the town and the people,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity the people of Clio have given me to serve as their mayor. I had been on the council for 20 years and thought I had done all that I could from that position. I wanted to do more so I decided to run for mayor.”

Johnson grew up in a large family “right here in Clio.”

“All of us worked on the farm and my mother did house work,” Johnson said. “I went to school here in Clio and, when I finished school I went into the Army and served for six years.”

Johnson said he is proud of his military service but he was also proud to come home to Clio.

He went to work for the post office in Clio and worked there for 21 years and retired.

Now, as the town’s mayor, Johnson said he will devote much of his time to bringing about positive change in Clio.

“We have done a lot small things to improve our town but we need to focus more on the bigger things,” Johnson said. “When I was out campaigning, what I heard the most was that we needed to clean up the town. So, that is going to be one of the first things we are going to do – get Clio cleaned up and looking good.”

Johnson said he knows attracting businesses to Clio won’t be easy but every effort to do so will be made.

“We are a small town but we’ve got the Dollar General and the Family Dollar and both of them are doing good,” Johnson said. “I’d like to see a restaurant in here that would serve fried catfish and chicken, peas and collards. Things like that would go good around here.  Even though it’s hard to compete with Walmart, a small grocery store would keep our residents from having to drive to Ozark or Troy.”

Johnson has a wish list and a “can do” list for the Town of Clio and he plans to work from both during his tenure as the mayor of Clio, his hometown.