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Coconino County Supervisor Matt Ryan, who has represented District 3 for 27 years, has submitted a formal letter to his colleagues on the Board of Supervisors (Board) indicating his intention to retire from the Board effective Dec. 31, 2023.
District 3 includes the Town of Williams, portions of Flagstaff and Sedona along with Kachina Village, Mountainaire, Munds Park and other unincorporated communities in southwestern Coconino County.
“I have had the great pleasure to work with many people over these past 27 years in stewardship of our beautiful County in many ways, working with both the natural and cultural landscapes,” Ryan said in his letter. “It has been a life’s journey from the very beginning.”
A few of his many accomplishments while in office include leading the Coconino Parks and Open Space Initiative which led to the acquisitions of Rogers Lake and Pumphouse Wash, and the preservation of the caldera in Flagstaff Ranch. He was also a strong proponent of the Dark Skies Ordinance and spearheaded the improvement of the Kachina Village Improvement District which resulted in financial and operational stability. Additionally, Supervisor Ryan was elected by his colleagues to serve as Chair of the Board seven times, most recently in 2021.
He has also been active on many statewide committees and councils including Arizona’s Military Affairs Commission, National Association of Counties’ Transportation Steering Committee, Rural Transportation Advocacy Council, Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona, and Northern Arizona Council of Governments’ Transportation Advisory Committee.
“Supervisor Ryan leads with his heart and the community he serves is always his first priority,” County Manager Steve Peru said. “His retirement hits deep as he leaves the Coconino County family, but I know he will still be involved in moving us forward. His service has been felt by many and we are a better County for it.”
Supervisor Ryan’s highest priorities as a County Supervisor have been careful land planning and resource protection. He is often seen riding his bike to the office and believes that wise planning builds active communities. He also enjoys working with people and building intergovernmental relationships and cooperative agreements with federal, state, tribal and local governments, and communities.
“While there is always a need to rationalize a reason to continue, I step out knowing that we have good people working with the desire to help their community,” Supervisor Ryan added. “We have good management under the County Manager’s leadership and many professionals in the field of their expertise taking care of our Coconino County, the people, and the land.”
In 1982, after serving in the United States Marine Corps, Supervisor Ryan came to Flagstaff and earned a bachelor’s degree and secondary teaching certification from Northern Arizona University. After graduation, he worked for a bio-tech corporation, at the Flagstaff Arboretum, and as a freelance writer. He also started a small business making recreational trail maps.
An action item has been added to the agenda for the Board’s regular meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. to officially consider and accept Supervisor Ryan’s resignation. While Arizona State Revised Statutes provide general guidance for certain areas in filling the vacancy, the Board will begin discussions on the overall process at their regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 24.