Scotty Johnson’s extensive military career — which took him from a spot in the White House Communications Agency to flying Hueys, Blackhawks and fixed-wing aircraft, to running the financial program for the Army Aviation Association of America in Korea — provided a number of skills he knows will help him on the Enterprise City Council.
But so will his spirit of volunteerism and community service.
“Every time we’ve gone somewhere in the world, we’ve gotten involved in the community,” said Johnson, who will be on the council representing District 4.
Longtime council member Al Miller did not seek reelection. Johnson was unopposed in the district and was declared the winner Tuesday night. He joins Turner Townsend, the incumbent in District 5, who is also unopposed.
“I have a lot of respect for Al Miller and the 28 years that he gave to our city,” Johnson said Thursday. “Imagine what the city looked like 28 years ago compared to what it is now. But I didn’t know he wasn’t running again or if somebody else would run until Tuesday evening. I’ve been staying away from crowds.”
Johnson, 74, is recovering from COVID-19. He fell ill in late June, was diagnosed with pneumonia and three days later tests confirmed COVID-19. It was tough, and he credits his wife, Dawn, for helping him get back to health.
“I’m a whole lot better. I’m getting around a lot better,” Johnson said. “I really have been blessed and feel so much better. People say it’s like the flu, but it wasn’t. I’ve had pneumonia before, but not like this. There’s days I don’t remember.”
Johnson and Dawn were married in 1966, the same year he joined the military. He is from Riverside, California, but added he’s really from “all over.”
“My dad was in the old Army Air Corps. He was World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He did all three,” Johnson said. “I’ve been around the military since I was born in 1946.”
The week after he retired from the military, he took a job at Fort Rucker as Department of the Army civilian in the Aviation Branch Safety Office.
“I did that for 13 years,” he said. “I’ve been around the military and federal government for about 51 years. I count that as a blessing.”
He knows how important Fort Rucker is to Enterprise. He notes many military veterans return to this area and own businesses and contribute to the city’s economy.
“We’ve been coming back and forth until we finally settled here,” Johnson said. “We have friends here, civilian friends, who we’ve known for 30-plus years. Rick Harrelson, Dr. Harrelson, I knew him back in high school. He was one of my soccer referees. Dr. Steve McQueen is another. These guys have gone away to college and come back here and give back to Enterprise.”
Johnson has been the coordinator the Coffee County Community Emergency Response Team — the CERT program — since 2010.
“My right-hand man, Capt. Chris Davis, does some of the medical pieces. Really couldn’t do it without the support of the fire department,” he said.
He knows Enterprise’s first responders and holds them in high regard.
“They’re making sure our town, our county is prepared,” Johnson said. “I’m one of those that’s proactive. I don’t want to be reactive. I always question myself, what if, what if. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Looking forward to working with whoever the mayor might be, whoever the council people are. It’s one team coming together to help our city.”
He and Dawn raised four kids — Tamara Shotts, K.K. Connors, Daniel Johnson and Jeremy Johnson — and they have eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Once spread out, three of his kids have returned to the area.
“Tamara is still in Oregon, but K.K. is a counselor at Harrand Creek, Daniel works at the high school and Jeremy is the director of logistics at Southeast Health in Dothan,” Johnson said proudly.
He will have a supporter in Miller, the longtime council member said.
“I’m sure Scotty Johnson’s a great guy. I heard he was,” Miller said. “I don’t know him personally, but I’m sure he can pick the torch up and go. I hope the City of Enterprise continues to be the City of Progress.”
Johnson said he wants to help keep Enterprise growing, but find a way to retain its small-town charm. He’s eager to get started.
“I want to be there for the people. I listen. I want to be their voice. I want them to come to me. If I don’t have the answer I’ll find out the answer,” he said, adding he will be a good steward of the taxpayers’ money.
He said he is eager to meet people, not just in District 4 but across the city.
“The thing is, we need to be one team. There may be some disagreements, but there are times we need to think about not us, but the citizens of Enterprise. That’s what it’s about,” Johnson said. “Every citizen, wherever you live, any neighborhood, I’ll help folks out. I want the people to be able to put a face with the name.”
His best asset, he noted, is Dawn.
“She’s been there every step of the way through all of my assignments,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t have done all the things I wanted to do with the military without her. I can’t say enough about her.”
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!