Monday, January 14, 2013
Collin County Commissioner Joe Jaynes retires after 16 years of service
With four re-elections under his belt, Jaynes served in a way that was both respected and appreciated.
Jaynes' retirement party featured more than 100 county employees and constituents who thanked him for his 16 years of service on the Commissioners Court. Commissioner Chris Hill officially replaced Jaynes on January 1.
Most attendees had stories to tell about Jaynes, but a common thread throughout many of them was how Jaynes always stood up for the constituents of Precinct 3, which includes denser populated areas, such as McKinney, as well as smaller towns, such as Blue Ridge and New Hope.
"Joe is going to be sorely missed," said Ron Harris, a former Plano city councilman who served as county judge from 1991 to 2006. "Being on the court was his full-time job, and he worked as hard as anyone who has ever been on the court. He truly gave the rural parts of Collin County a voice and a presence at the table."
Residents from those smaller communities showed up Thursday night. One of those in attendance was Joe Barton, a Farmersville resident who recently began his seventh term as the Precinct 2 County Constable. Barton said while he didn't support Jaynes when he initially ran for office 16 years ago, he quickly came to respect him and the two became good friends.
"He promised us that he would not be a stranger in Farmersville, and he kept that promise," Barton said. "He would come to our Rotary Club and show up at our city council meetings. We are going to miss Joe in Farmersville."
While he is off the court, Jaynes is not retired. He now works for Waste Management in the government relations department, a job that he said keeps him plenty busy.
Still, he said there are many things he will miss about serving on the court -- including the weekly meetings.
"You don't put in 16 years if you don't like going to the meetings," Jaynes said with a laugh. "But what I will really miss is the people. If I wouldn't have served 16 years, I wouldn't have gotten to meet most of the people in this room. I have made some lifelong friendships that are very important to me."
Jaynes said Precinct 3 had a little bit of everything, and serving it for so many years was an honor.
"Precinct 3 is pretty diverse with fast growing cities such as McKinney and fast-growing rural areas such as Farmersville, Princeton, and Celina," he said. "The thing about the small towns is that when you go there they are happy to see you. In the smaller towns, even if they are griping at you , they are still happy to see you."
With Jaynes' retirement, the most tenured member of the court is now County Judge Keith Self, who is in his second term after being elected in 2006.
Self said Jaynes represented Precinct 3 during a time of great growth in the county, and was the leader on the court in areas such as transportation infrastructure.
"Losing Joe is bittersweet," Self said. "He has probably seen everything there is to see on the court over 16 years. When a man gets re-elected four times, that tells you he has been representing his constituents the right way. We will certainly miss Joe's expertise and his institutional knowledge on the court."
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