Sayonara Supervisor Smith

Jon Johnson File Photo: After 22 years as a government public servant in the Gila Valley, Danny Smith is stepping down as Graham County Supervisor for a new challenge.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – There will be a vacancy in the three-member Graham County Board of Supervisors as its longest-tenured member Danny Smith has stepped down from his post. 

During the BOS’ Monday morning meeting, County Manager Dustin Welker announced Smith had submitted his resignation notice with his last day being May 26. 

“I just wanted to thank Supervisor Smith,” Welker said. “He’s been exceptional and a model supervisor. He has an enormous amount of respect in the county and at the state level.”

Smith previously served on the Safford City Council from 2001-2012, until he resigned for a successful run for Graham County Supervisor. He was re-elected in 2016 and 2020. 

“It’s been the joy of my life serving,” Smith said. “It’s been a lot a lot of fun. I appreciate the voters and everyone in District 3 and everyone in Graham County.”

Smith lauded his fellow members of the board and Welker and said he plans on staying in contact with his new positions for economic development.

“I’ve been asked to help Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center in marketing and community relations and in a further way work in economic development of the Gila Valley,” Smith said. “And some planets have aligned to help make that happen with a new organization we’re calling the Graham County Economic Development Organization.”

Smith founded the Safford Downtown Association 28 years ago and has played an integral part in economic development in the Gila Valley and in creating sports and playground amenities for the youth as well as serving as a coach for various sports. He was also a founding member of the Graham County Community Foundation, which later became the Arizona Community Foundation of the Gila Valley, and has been involved with reaching an equitable water rights settlement with the San Carlos Apache Tribe and has led cleanup efforts through Southeastern Clean and Beautiful.

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: From left, Ray and Maria Coronado celebrate being named as the 48 Hour Makeover winner by SDA President Danny Smith and Amber Hogle. The makeover is just one economic development program spearheaded by Smith.

He continues his positions as the president of the Safford Downtown Association Board, is vice chair on the Gila Valley Watershed Partnership Board, and also serves on the board of the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties. 

With the resignation, the Graham County BOS will appoint a replacement from his district. The replacement must both live in the district and be a Republican since Smith was elected as a Republican. The appointment will last until the end of 2024.  

“It’s been great,” Smith said. “I’ve loved serving and I hate to leave but I didn’t think I would do it for this long or do it forever. And so, you don’t get to just keep this job, the voters get to decide every four years anyway. It’s been great, thank you.”