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2017-04-21 / Features

Serving Virginia—the Queen City—is rewarding

By Steven Johnson
HTF Contributor

VIRGINIA – I have just completed my first three months on the Virginia City Council. It has been an incredible experience learning about city government.

I am especially impressed by the individuals who work day-to-day to make Virginia a leader on the Iron Range. I am humbled to see the hard work of each staff member as they work with some of the other Iron Range municipalities, government agencies and citizens.

The city council has the awesome responsibility of providing guidance to a body of hard working individuals who perform miracles with limited resources.

The city of Virginia has been known as the Queen City for many years. I have always had an interest in the jewels in the crown of the Queen City. Olcott Park has so much to offer: the botanical garden greenhouse with its warm winter temperatures and luscious exotic plants that is right next to the historical society, the soon to be restored fountain with water display, the bandstand, buildings and ball fields, the playground equipment and open areas for enjoying a day outdoors. Finally, the disc golf course brings people from all over the area to play a quick round before having lunch at one of our local establishments.

Virginia has beautiful waterways. We are so lucky to have two beautiful lakes that can be viewed from all sides. Through the hard work of multiple organizations and hundreds of volunteer hours, our lakes are clean and safe for water activities of all kinds. Such a joy to meet old friends and see new faces while on a stroll.

The buildings and activities around town are diverse and of great quality.

Theater, sports, museums, concerts, runs and walks, parades and festivals are all part of the jewels that adorn the crown of the Queen City. Each venue offers unique opportunities to have world class experiences.

Our newest jewel is the bridge that is being built. It is a wonder to see. It causes one to take some time to marvel at the ingenuity and creativity of modern building materials and techniques. I cannot wait to walk the Mesabi Trail and take photos of the wondrous views from each of the resting pavilions on the east and west side.

Some of our jewels may need a bit of polishing, but with some hard work and the cooperation of hardworking volunteers we can continue to move the city and the surrounding areas toward a bright future.

The biggest, brightest, most valuable jewel in Virginia’s crown is people.

The people that live, work, play, and study in Virginia are what make us what we are today: a diverse, active community moving toward a future of property and peace. The people of Virginia make all the difference in the world. Without kind and caring people, Virginia would be just another dot on the map.

My limited time on the council has reinforced for me that Virginia is the more than just a city—it is a home. A home of compassionate individuals who want to make a difference. We want to see our city grow and prosper. I am happy to report that I represent people with vision and goals; people who believe when we work together, when we listen to and respect each other, we can chart a course to success.

Steven B. Johnson is a Virginia City Councilor. He can be contacted at 218-410- 7879 or

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