Ian Johnston, an independent mortgage broker, is running for Councillor in Newmarket’s Ward 6 and MortgageBrokerNews.ca spoke with him about why he decided to run and how his mortgage career has prepared him for politics.
MBN: What inspired you to run?
Ian Johnston: I am a voice for town politics in Newmarket and as a very long-time resident I have been always concerned about what happens in my neighbourhood and in the town. I have served on various committees as a volunteer and when there was an opportunity (to run) I stepped in.
I am very much a people person and always concerned for others and the area. I’ve always hated excuses and with my experience, knowledge and good teachers over the years, I know how to get things done. Building strong strategic relationships helps processes get done in a large group or committee, whatever the cause or situation is.
I’ve never waited around to get things done; as Nike says, ”Just do it". It is always for the betterment of what the cause is. I have attended enough council meetings to know how fight through the red tape that stops progress and hinders positive outcomes.
MBN: How has your experience as a mortgage broker prepared you for this?
IJ: I started in the banks and have learned that there are always different outcomes for different situations. Making myself personably responsible for what I am educating prospects and clients about has moved me forward to my present role. Developing principles for my life and in my job has propelled me to take on bigger challenges in life.
If I can make a difference in a person's life that's been part of it; if I can do it for whole a community then that's the challenge with bigger results that benefits all. It's that type of mindset that has made me successful. Progress can be made that everyone benefits from.
MBN: Why would a mortgage broker make for a good public servant?
IJ: I don't think you can label it that way; it depends on the person themselves. You must know finance, how markets work, know your community, and inspire people in your conversations or conducting a seminar. We only know what we choose to know.
Overall character and visibility in the community helps and being humble and letting your positive actions speak for themselves. Separating the marketing from the mortgage part of your job is important, making it “we as a community" has to be instilled in the minds of your constituents. Making it about them and not you is the message you need to get across. Showing your gratitude and inspiring them to speak up will go a long way to being a good public servant.
MBN: What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?
IJ: Number #1 is that the residents know they have a voice and that I am dedicated in the next four years to make Ward 6 the best in Newmarket. It has been underserved the last 30 years. That they are going to be heard, I am transparent, address the concerns of the neighbourhood and town.
I want people to have the confidence that I am working at making a difference, that I will be accessible, and that their tax dollars are not being wasted. Over the years, I have compiled a list of all the concerns and actions that the constituents want for their community going forward. Living here for a long time and knowing the needs of the neighbourhood will start on Day 1.
For the town of Newmarket in the future, there are certain changes I would like to incorporate and I look forward to working with the new council to see if that comes to fruition. As I say, there is no passing the buck: honesty is always the best policy. For my present job, I will probably keep my broker license since affordable housing and the cost of living are areas of I am passion about.