10 Things You Didn’t Know about Van Johnson

Van Johnson

Van Johnson is the current Mayor of Savannah, GA. Very recently, his name has shown up in the news because he is one of the mayors who are less than enthused by Governor Brian Kemp’s decision to begin reopening select businesses in spite of the COVID-19 crisis.

1. Studied Business Administration

In school, Johnson studied business administration. Based on the name, it should come as no surprise to learn that business administration is focused on running a business’s operations, meaning that it encompasses a very wide range of topics. It is interesting to note that business administration has some overlap with public administration, though there is a fundamental difference between the two because businesses and governments are run for very different purposes.

2. Studied Business Administration At Savannah State University

Speaking of which, Johnson studied business administration at Savannah State University. Said school was founded because of the second Morrill Land-Grant Act, which required the states to either show that race wasn’t one of their land-grant institutions’ criteria of admission or establish separate land-grant institutions for people of color. Due to this, a number of historically black colleges and universities were established, with an excellent example being Savannah State University. In any case, the school now operates three colleges, which are focused on business administration, liberal arts and social sciences, and sciences and technology.

3. Studied Public Administration

Later, Johnson studied public administration as well. Generally speaking, public administration is focused on the implementation of government policies, meaning that it is just as wide-ranging in nature as its business-focused counterpart. The roots of public administration extend into ancient times because even ancient governments couldn’t function without public servants, but public administration in the modern sense can be traced to the mid-20th century when the sociologist Max Weber’s bureaucratic theory produced a surge of interest in the matter.

4. Studied Public Administration At Two Schools

Johnson studied public administration at the graduate level at not one but two schools. One of the two schools was Savannah State University. Meanwhile, the other school was Georgia Southern University, which started out as a land-grant institution as well. Said school isn’t just one of the biggest schools in the state of Georgia but also the single biggest school that can be found in the southern half of the state of Georgia.

5. Has Experience In Law Enforcement

It is interesting to note that Johnson has experience in law enforcement. To be exact, he has experience as not just a deputy sheriff but also a law enforcement instructor, which continued until November of 2018. Something that suggests that others put considerable trust in his capabilities in this regard.

6. Has Experience In Human Resources

On a related note, Johnson has experience in human resources management as well. Under normal circumstances, this is one of the functions that are so fundamental that an organization couldn’t run without it. After all, organizations need the expertise and experience of humans to perform a wide range of roles with a wide range of responsibilities, meaning that someone needs to find the right individuals for the right positions, handle the concerns of employees in regards to the workplace, and address other human resources-related issues as well. Otherwise, the lack of people addressing human resources-related issues can cause a business to lose its human capital within a short period of time, assuming that it can even accumulate any human capital in the first place.

7. Served As Alderman

Johnson is a relative newcomer to the position of Mayor of Savannah. However, he is no stranger to municipal politics, seeing as how he served as the Alderman of District 1 from January of 2004 to December of 2019. It is interesting to note that alderman comes from the Old English title of ealdorman, which was much more powerful. For those who are curious, an ealdorman was someone who possessed authority that was independent from that of the king. Sometimes, it indicated a former king who had submitted to a greater power. Other times, it indicated the leader of either a shire or some other area who had been appointed by the king. In time, the concept of an ealdorman was replaced by the concept of an eorl, which in turn, became the basis of the earl. However, it has nonetheless managed to survive in a much changed form as the concept of an alderman that continues to see use throughout much of the English-speaking world.

8. His Term As Mayor Started in January of 2020

In December of 2019, Johnson won the election for Mayor of Savannah, with the result that his first term in said position started up in January of 2020. For those who are curious, there were two rounds, both of which were won by Johnson. In the first round, he secured 46 percent of the vote compared to the incumbent Eddie DeLoach’s 40 percent, while the next runner-up had no more than 14 percent. Meanwhile, the run-off saw Johnson securing 62 percent compared to DeLoach’s 38 percent. In any case, Johnson was a gracious winner while DeLoach was a gracious loser, thus making for an amicable conclusion to the election.

9. Very Opposed to the Decision to Reopen

Johnson seems to be very opposed to Governor Brian Kemp’s decision to reopen. As he sees it, the politicians should be listening to the scientists on this matter, meaning that it is still too soon. This is particularly true because the state of Georgia has neither a clear fall in the number of new case of COVID-19 nor the widespread availability of testing for the novel coronavirus, both of which Johnson consider to be necessary before a gradual reopening should commence.

10. Has Asked People to Listen to the Science

In any case, Johnson has acknowledged that he can’t do anything about the order that has been given from above. However, he has asked the people of Savannah to listen to the science, meaning that he has asked the people of Savannah to continue staying home as much as possible as well as the business owners of Savannah to remain closed as much as possible to minimize the risk for both their employees and their customers. Besides this, Johnson is requiring the city employees to continue with their current protective measures, with examples ranging from the wearing of masks to the maintenance of the recommended distance from other people.


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