By L. Parsons
Following a nearly two-month stay as interim Navajo County manager, former public works director Glenn Kephart was appointed to the permanent position of county manager during last week’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors.
Kephart took over following the resignation of James Jayne, who had served Navajo County for 14 years. The county received more than 20 applications for the post and performed rounds of interviews before deciding on Kephart. A press release provided by the county noted that Chairman of the Board Jesse Thompson said, “This is the first time we’ve had to find a new county manager in 14 years and as a board, we feel we chose the best candidate. Glenn has proven to be not only up to the task for this position, but a great fit for Navajo County. We know we can expect great work and professionalism from him, and we look forward to continuing the development of our region together.”
In his official statement, Kephart said, “I am humbled and honored by this offer, and look forward to helping shape the future of Navajo County. There is already a great team of dedicated public servants at Navajo County, and I look forward to helping maintain, foster and grow partnerships for our communities, residents and visitors.”
The supervisors were unanimous in their appointment of Kephart, with each expressing optimism for the choice.
District IV Supervisor Steve Williams stated, “I think he’s visionary in his leadership, he’s easy to work with and he understands the need for partnerships.”
District V Supervisor Dawnafe Whitesinger shared the sentiment, stating, “We are excited to have Mr. Kephart join us, as he has demonstrated great skill and ability, and certainly all of the skills we were looking for in a manager.”
Recognizing the need for communication between cities, townships and sovereign nations within the county, Kephart said, “In Navajo County we are known for our healthy and productive partnerships. We are recognized regionally as a leader, throughout the state and the country. These strong and healthy partnerships have been critical to our success. Our future success will depend on maintaining, sponsoring and continuing to grow these partnerships.”
In closing, Kephart acknowledged the many individuals who make up Navajo County government, saying, “I was asked if the state of the county scared me or excited me, and my response was, if I had to do it alone it would scare me. But I’m not in this alone so it excites me; we will figure this out together.”
Kephart’s appointment was effective immediately, with the process to replace him as public works director still in the recruitment stage. Jeanine Carruthers has been overseeing daily operations in the department since Aug. 15, and will continue to do so through the hiring process.