Businessman was elected mayor in November

By Chad Koenen


Just two weeks into his tenure as Henning Mayor, Robert Johnson is looking to the future of the community he calls home. That includes trying some new things like establishing a finance committee and looking at making necessary repairs to the city’s infrastructure in the future. He hopes these small changes will be enough to bring the community together as it gears up for what could be a busy few years, as oppose to staying with the status quo.

“We have to try something different because what we have been doing isn’t working,” said Johnson. 

Originally from Montana, Johnson spent his summers working for his aunt and uncle at Brogard’s Plumbing. When he graduated high school they encouraged him to move to Minnesota and work full-time for their family business. Johnson took up their offer and has been in Henning ever since. 

He is hoping to bring Henning back to those early days of him coming to town with neighbors helping one another out, all-while having a vision for the future of the community.

“I think Henning is a great town,” said Johnson. “I would like to see Henning cleaned up and make it a more friendly community like it was back in the day.”

Though he was not initially thinking of running for the position of mayor, Johnson, who co-owns Brogard Plumbing, Heating and Excavating, was encouraged to do so by a number of people in the community. 

“I had a lot of people tell me someone should run,” said Johnson.

After giving it some thought and finding that no one else was interested in running for the position of mayor, Johnson decided to throw his name in the hat. He defeated incumbent mayor Darren Wiese for the position in November.

As he begins his tenure as mayor, Johnson said he wants to find a way to get the community more involved in the decision making process. For example, he wants to utilize committees at the city council level, more than in the past. That means committees can do much of the leg work and research about a project and bring a recommendation about how to proceed before the entire council. His goal is to allow community members to be on these committees where feasible to give them the opportunity to be involved with City of Henning business. 

He is also hoping to keep Henning’s infrastructure up to date by making necessary repairs and not simply make a patch to get buy.

“We got to move forward and keep the infrastructure up. We have to repair and stop patching things,” said Johnson.