Sheldon (Shelly) Johnson has accepted a new community role in Monticello, after coming to town as a school principal in 1967 and later serving as school district superintendent for nearly 25 years.
New River Medical Center board members agreed Aug. 9 to appoint Johnson as their newest voting colleague for the rest of 2012.
He fills a board seat that was vacated by Dr. Joseph Mahoney last spring. The seat was open only to applicants from the city of Monticello. Other board seats represent the cities of Big Lake and Otsego and the townships of Big Lake, Becker, Monticello and Silver Creek. An eighth seat on the board may be held by any eligible person from any of those cities or townships.
Mahoney was in the final year of a four-year term on the board when he resigned. Filings for a new term to begin next January are open now through Tuesday, Aug. 21. The at-large, Silver Creek Township and Big Lake city seats will be up for election along with Monticello’s city seat Nov. 6.
Before the board’s vote for his appointment last week, Johnson said he was unsure whether he would file for a four-year term. Though he became the board’s newest member, he noted that he would be a senior member. He will be 73 at the end of this term. “At the end of (another) term, I’ll be 77. I look here (at the other members), and I don’t see anyone that age,” he said.
“I would be at your service to do the best I can,” Johnson pledged before the board’s vote. “I would do whatever I can for you. I’m a team player.
“The hospital has always had a warm spot in my heart.”
Candy Benoit, who represents Monticello Township on the hospital board and has had a long career as assistant community education director for the Monticello Schools, spoke of the worth she felt Johnson will bring to the board. “I really believe his skills are going to be very useful on the board, very helpful for us,” she said.
To join November’s ballot for a hospital board seat, an applicant must be minimum age 21 and obtain and file an affidavit for candidacy from their city or town clerk. There is no filing fee.
By Paul Rignell