Yá’át’ééh, I am Alton Joe Shepherd from Steamboat Canyon, Arizona and currently reside in Ganado, Az.
I am a family man first and foremost and I have been happily married to Wendy D. Shepherd from Dilkon, Arizona. We have four beautiful daughters that keep us on our toes with school and youth activities year round. I am of the Water Edge People clan, born for Honey Comb People, my maternal grandparents are the Coyote Passing People and my paternal grandparents are the Many Goats People. I have a professional background in Law Enforcement and I have been in public services for 8 years as a Ganado Fire Board member and as a member of the 22nd and 23rd Navajo Nation Council.
It was an honor to have my Inaugural Oath of Office Ceremony here in Ganado and I appreciate all those who attended and witnessed the ceremony. I am still appreciative of the many blessings that were given that day. Since taking office on January 1, 2017, I have assembled a progressive executive team that understands the local, state, and federal governance. These individuals have extensive background, knowledge, and professionalism to provide progressive leadership to assist in my vision of “Better Roads, Better Communities”.
I have shared with the team my established 100 day plan that lays the foundation for building strong viable Partnerships with local Chapters, Schools, State, Navajo Nation, and Federal transportation entities. Furthermore, to better serve our citizens of Apache County District 2, I have restructured our administrative office by creating a Planning Section, a Public Relations & Compliance Section, and enhanced our Administrative Operations with a Grants Section. I am committed to four priorities as your Supervisor; 1) Increase County Revenues, 2) Building Strong & Viable Partnerships, 3) Quality Road Maintenance and 4) Professional Services and Delivery.
My Leadership is founded on four guiding principles; Purpose, Planning, Partnership, and Progress; this is the basic philosophy of our Navajo Way of Life; Nistaakas, Nahatah, Iina,Shihasiin. First is PURPOSE; (Nistaakas) in order to implement progressive change, we needed to know where we were at in our administration and operations. Our assessments are complete and we have identified our purpose. Second is PLANNING; (Naahatah) our planning strategy addresses short and long term plans. Currently we developed a plan to finish out our fiscal year ending this June 2017; administratively, we entered a lease purchase program to acquire three new graders, proposed a priority based budgeting, streamlined internal process & procedures, and staff development; field operations, we have conducted and completed a road inventory for District 2, we have developed prioritize school bus routes, implemented our field operation standards, developed and implemented a regional blading schedule, developed and implemented a snow removal plan, and have a completed road safety plan. Our long term plan is to collaborate and seek partnership to improve, enhance, standardize and prioritize district road maintenance. Third is PARTNERSHIP; (Iina) it is vital to assess and strategically resolve community problems together. We have begun reaching out to our communities within District 2 by requesting their road infrastructure priority list. Based on these priorities we will develop and plan with our communities to achieve PROGRESS; (Shihasiin). We have already begun to enhance our relationships with our communities by developing a Burial Policy, developed a standardized Task Agreement/MOA to address problematic areas with local entities and have submitted a request to the Navajo Nation for funding partnerships for temporary services.
Lastly, I have been working diligently with our Arizona State Legislatures. Since they have been in session, I continue to make my visits on a regular bases to Phoenix, AZ to advocate and educate them the importance of how meaningful our HURF (Highway Users Revenue Funds) are to rural counties, especially Apache County. Each year these funds are diverted to other state priorities and projects and my message is to relieve the diversion and to increase HURFon an annual bases. Thus far our message has been received, our House of Representatives have requested for more funding in HURF and have been negotiating with Governor DougDucey.
In closing, we are excited to serve District 2 and we look forward to much success this year. We appreciate your patience in times of need. Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts and requests with my staff as strive for excellence in customer service and delivery. May the Holy Ones continue to bring many more Blessing to us all.
Alton Joe Shepherd, County Supervisor
Apache County District 2