You are here

Harry L. Johnson, III

« Back to Previous Page


Harry L. Johnson, III is a lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, having been born in Warren, Ohio and raised in Youngstown. After graduating from Ursuline High School, he went on to earn his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a major in Finance from Kent State University. After completing his undergraduate work, Mr. Johnson chose a career in banking, where he served in various capacities over a ten-year period, including Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Lender, Branch Manager, and Business Banking Officer. During this era, he gained valuable fiscal management experience by managing loan and deposit portfolios in excess of $20 Million.

On May 6, 1998, Mr. Johnson was appointed by Youngstown City Council to the Board of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District (MVSD). This appointment made him the first African-American to be appointed to the Board. Before resigning on January 25, 2006 to join the Youngstown Water Department, he served two terms, including one term as President of the Board. During his tenure, he participated in capital improvement initiatives that invested more than $7 million in major upgrades to the District’s infrastructure. He also shared in an effort that saw the MVSD save more than $3 million over a 20 year period by refinancing $50 million in municipal bonds. Mr. Johnson has worked for the City of Youngstown through several mayoral administrations, originally appointed to the positions of Controller/Office Manager by Mayor Jay Williams in January 2006. Mayor Charles Sammarone promoted Harry to the Water Commissioner position on December 4, 2012. He continued to serve in that position under Mayor John McNally. Mayor Jamael “Tito” Brown re-appointed him to the position in February 2018.

The Water Department is a division of the City of Youngstown, employing a staff of over 90 people. It owns and operates over seven-hundred miles of distribution lines, serving 52,000 accounts that encompass more than eight communities in the Mahoning Valley. Water Department management and staff continue to identify which assets are most critical to sustain operations and how best to operate, maintain, repair, replace and rehabilitate the system over its life cycle. This is evidenced by the over $30 million invested back into the water system over the past decade. Mr. Johnson's team has a thorough understanding of the distribution system and continues to ensure that every customer’s service is reliable and of the highest quality.

Portrait of Harry L. Johnson, III
Harry L. Johnson, III

Water Commissioner

Appointed: December 4, 2012
Phone: (330) 742-8746
Fax: (330) 742-8751