By Nick Worth
Navajo County Manager James Jayne has been selected as the recipient of the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award for Innovation.
According to the website of the Arizona We Want Institute, “The Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards are a statewide competition created to recognize the role of non-elected public servants as the critical link between citizens and the people elected to represent them.”
The awards are sponsored by the Center for the Future of Arizona, the Arizona Department of Administration, the County Supervisors Association of Arizona, the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
The candidates for the award are recognized for their contributions in one of three areas, leadership, civic engagement or innovation.
The awards, which are in their third year, are named after Gabe Zimmerman, director of community outreach for former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Zimmerman died during a shooting attack on Jan. 8, 2011, in which Giffords and 12 others were wounded, and six people were killed.
Jayne, along with Leadership Award winner Betsy Bayless and Civic Engagement Award winner Arlan Colton will be honored at the League of Arizona Cities and Towns’ Annual Conference on Thursday, Aug. 29.
Bayless is the president and CEO of Maricopa Integrated Health System, and Colton is planning director at Pima County Development Services.
The institute made its selections of Jayne, Bayless and Colton following an extensive review process lasting several months.
Jayne was unaware of his nomination until he was notified of his win.
“I am humbled and grateful to Sheriff Clark, County Attorney Carlyon and co-worker Hunter Moore for their confidence in nominating me for this honor (a nomination I knew nothing about before receiving an e-mail from Lattie Coor),” said Jayne in a prepared statement. “I never dreamed I would receive this recognition. I am honored to be part of the public service profession in our great state.”
According to the institute, “(Jayne’s) nomination defines him as a manager with a ‘persistent determination to improve,’ and an approach based upon building lasting relationships, motivating people to best utilize their talents and continuously looking for new paths to success.”
The institute also noted that Jayne is recognized as a “humble and masterful team builder” who “always encourages exploration of new ideas…
“Jayne and his team have put together an outstanding list of accomplishments through the use of new technology and creative thinking,” including:
* Navajo County’s online back-tax land auction, implemented in 2011. The online auction resulted in a 48 percent sales rate, as opposed to the six percent average of the previous four years.
* The implementation of a new smart phone application by the county’s public works team, which allowed one inspector to track 2,000 signs in two months and eliminated the use of paperwork.
* The new solar array for the Navajo County Holbrook Government Complex, which will reduce traditional energy consumption by 80 percent.
* Working with multiple emergency response agencies in the White Mountains to create a regional dispatch center to improve service and lower costs for the region.
* Finding ways to improve Navajo County’s new internal leadership academy through a partnership with the Alliance for Innovation.
“Innovation is most often accomplished when a determined and creative team of people work together to conceive ideas that they can all believe in,” commented Jayne. “I am extremely fortunate to work with a great team in Navajo County who made this possible. I appreciate being selected by the Center for the Future of Arizona for this honor.”
By Nick Worth