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Wed, Aug. 21

Howard: A kind of weird week — now back to normal
My Point

Every now and then you are thrown an opportunity that you don’t see coming, and when Jack Smith, now former-county supervisor/district 5, stepped down from that position and someone who lived in that area would be appointed, I thought, “Why not me?”

And then I thought of 100 reasons why not.

• I love, really love what I do and am good at it.

• How many people get to manage a small beautiful and relatively new and successful tennis facility at a great community college?

• Get to work with a fantastic group of people who are healthy, vibrant, involved, personable, athletic, smart, funny, in the moment — that plan and goal set for the future as well?

• Have clients who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and all walks of life with the common interest of tennis. They are so interesting and full of life. Most all are positive minded, work hard and play hard.

• It would pull me out of the Southwest tournaments and USTA League play that have been near and dear to my heart to a large degree for decades. A little competition goes a long way and the friends I’ve met and play with would be put on the backburner.

• It would squeeze a large degree of time away from the family, which is most important to me.

• Reading the newspaper and listening to the radio about local issues is one thing; being in the middle of those issues is another — while putting new policies in place and upholding the past ones.

So, why throw your hat in the ring knowing being a county supervisor is a relatively thankless job?

It certainly wasn’t for the money or benefits, although it is a paid gig, unlike the local city and town councils that hardly make enough to pay for their gas and involved expenses.

You do get to help make a difference. Representing a large base of friends and neighbors, property owners, renters, businesses, children to seniors ... listen to their wants and needs, deal with basic services and budgets using taxpayer dollars, and that’s some really heavy responsibility.

Overseeing, listening, learning and helping to legislate what it takes to make a large area like Yavapai County stay healthy, vibrant, and so much more.

This appointment was only until the next election (2020), which doesn’t overly commit you unless you decide to become a candidate.

The more I batted this idea around in my head, the more I thought that at this time in my life I could try to give back a little of what Yavapai County and it’s workers, elected officials and such have given to me and my family, and I could spend some time in this situation giving back.

I never joined the service. My father did seven years as a Marine, and when the draft ended the need didn’t seem to be there for me. Kind of felt some guilt over the years about that, and now believe that two years of some kind of service to your fellow men and women would make the world a better place.

With much deliberation and soul searching I sent in my resume. I thought if it happens, life would be very different and, if not, I did what I felt was the right thing to do for me and our district. This would give the supervisors another decent name to consider for this appointment.

Two Mondays ago was the big day, and I was ready, but at the same time nervous ... what if I happen to get appointed?

A person by the name of Mary Mallory, who worked at Sprouts and served on the Prescott Valley Town Council, received the job and I’m sure she’ll do great.

As I walked out to my car from the county building on Fair Street at the conclusion of the meeting, I couldn’t wait to get back into my comfortable tennis clothes.

Back to the good life.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or choward4541@gmail.com.

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