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Vanselow “not a wild-eyed renegade,” enjoys volunteering

Ron Vanselow and Johnsburg Town Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed attended the Mathew Brady marker dedication Nov. 10 at the Wevertown Community Center.

Ron Vanselow and Johnsburg Town Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed attended the Mathew Brady marker dedication Nov. 10 at the Wevertown Community Center. Photo by John Grybos.

— After trying his hand in jobs all around town, Ron Vanselow has settled on the town supervisor seat, though he doesn't expect to make a career out of it.

“I'll serve at the pleasure of the people,” he said following his election to the seat Nov. 8. “I like to think that at some point I'll kick back, but I suspect I wouldn't be able to do that for long.”

Vanselow was born in Pennsylvania and mostly raised in North Carolina. His grandfather was a methodist minister who built a cabin in Johnsburg. That family-crafted cottage was the site of frequent visits by his family as a child.

He and his wife decided to settle in the town and raised their three kids here. His offspring all graduated from Johnsburg Central and still live in the area.

A resident of the hamlet of Johnsburg, Vanselow moved to town in 1987 and started work at T.C. Murphy Lumber in Wevertown. He followed that up with stints at Johnsburg Central, Gore's ski shop and a group home in Indian Lake.

“I like to mix it up and do different things,” he said.

Around '89 and '90, Vanselow started looking for ways to be more involved in his community. He was part of the committee that implemented the town's first recycling system, and he helped fight and defeat a landfill proposal. In '93 he joined the local planning board, and in '97 became the zoning officer.

Also during the '90s, he spent a number of years on the town rescue squad, eventually as Johnsburg's first paramedic. Becoming a paramedic requires a high level of training, though Vanselow wasn't very interested in cultivating job skills in the position.

“It was never a career,” said Vanselow, “It was something I wanted to do for the community.”

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