As one of its first actions in the new Denison City Hall, the city council formally recognized former Mayor Jared Johnson with its Moving Forward, Giving Back Award for his efforts in leading recent development in major projects and growth within the city.

The award, created in 2016, highlights the efforts and achievements of volunteers and Denison residents who give back and help support the community through a variety of efforts.

“This afternoon we had the distinct opportunity to present a very special award,” Mayor Janet Gott said. “This world needs dreamers; it also needs doers, but above all else, it needs dreamers that do.”

In a nearly eight-minute speech, Gott highlighted many of Johnson’s accomplishments and his efforts on many projects that have recently borne fruit for the city. The presentation was the first formal action by the city council in the new City Hall following a ribbon-cutting ceremony earlier that afternoon.

Among the accomplishments, Gott, who succeeded Johnson in May following the end of his term limit, lauded the former mayor for his efforts in leading new housing initiatives that have in part contributed to the recent boom in housing that Denison has experienced. Among these initiatives was the creation of the city’s affordable housing program, which offers incentives for the construction of low-cost, infill housing options in existing neighborhoods.

More recently, Gott said Johnson also helped pioneer the city’s renovation incentive program, which was launched in the fall of 2017.

Other projects that Johnson has been a part of have come to fruition in the past month, Gott said. Among these are the opening of the new City Hall building and THF Park — the city’s new regional park and sports complex.

For his part, Johnson downplayed his involvement stating that it was a team effort that brought Denison to this point, and he served as “head cheerleader” for these efforts.

“I think it is a real honor to be recognized by the city council in the first meeting in the new City Hall,” Johnson said. “It was very kind of the council to take that approach, but when you look at that list of things we’ve accomplished, it wasn’t a one-person effort.”

Despite ending his tenure as mayor earlier this year, Johnson said he planned to continue to serve the city of Denison in other capacities. During Tuesday’s meeting, Johnson was appointed by the council along with Robert Crawley to serve on the Denison Development Alliance Board of Directors. Johnson and Crawley will be replacing former Mayor Robert Brady and Robert Sylvester, who will reach the end of their terms in October.