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Jimmy Smith 1948-2016 

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Former Humboldt County 1st District Supervisor Jimmy Smith — a man revered as much for his kindness as his work ethic — died May 24 at St. Joseph Hospital after a long fight with cancer. He was 67.

Smith, who tirelessly served the 1st for more than a decade and had struggled with and largely prevailed over cancer since the 1990s, left his post in 2012 due to declining health. But he stayed active, continuing work on many of the projects he'd spearheaded as a supervisor. A lifelong Humboldt County resident, Smith attended Eureka High School before enjoying a varied career as a commercial fisherman, harbor commissioner and waterfowl researcher before being elected to the board in 2000.

Known and widely admired for his hands-on approach to being a supervisor, Smith personally inspected rural roads and promptly responded to concerned emails and phone calls from constituents. He sought consensus wherever possible, respected everyone and largely lived without pretense or ego, making him a perfect fit to head diverse teams that tackled large problems, like transforming the blighted South Spit into a wildlife refuge or crafting a seven-county water management plan.

When friends and community members gathered at a May 27 memorial service, there were more jeans than heels, and half the parking lot was filled with pickup trucks. The line of cars stretched down the small main street of Fields Landing, and the parking lot in front of the boat launch named in honor of the man everyone knew as Jimmy filled with mourners. A strong, persistent wind made the microphone hum and the speakers wobble. It was a good wind, the kind his friends said Jimmy would say was good for the salmon. It was the kind of day that brought the smell of the sea into your lungs, the kind Smith would have liked.

Rex Bohn, who filled Smith's 1st District seat when Smith's health began failing him, said he and other officials bent some rules in order to dedicate the ramp to his predecessor in 2014. "We broke procedure policy, we didn't ask anybody, we just did it," Bohn said, spurring the audience to applaud. Of course, the decision was voted in unanimously at the next board meeting. Smith, everyone agreed, was a rare kind of politician, the kind who united people who normally wouldn't come together.

Smith was dedicated to the preservation of wetlands, to rural communities, to knowing as much about what was going on in Humboldt as possible. Loretta Sands (formerly Loretta Nickolaus), a former county administrative officer and Jimmy's "sister from another mister," spoke with reverence about her colleague and friend's humility, about how during difficult financial times for the county, he demanded a cut in his salary.

"He led by example. He'd do just about anything for anybody," Sands said, adding that the world would be a better place if everyone were a little more like Jimmy, prompting nods from the audience.

Other speakers talked about his dedication, how he never stopped working, about his yellow lined legal pads in which he'd write lists of things to do, checking them off one by one, and about how he kept a garage so neat and clean you could eat off the floor. They spoke often of his wife of 40 years, Jacque, of whom Smith would still sometimes sigh about, saying, "Isn't she cute?"

Smith's many trips to rural parts of the county, his willingness to always take a phone call or buy dinner for a friend, to offer advice and champion for those who requested his help, would take him away from his beloved Jacque for long lengths of time. Bohn thanked her for nursing him in his final years, and for sharing him with the public.

"Jacque, you shared him like no other person," Bohn said. The audience clapped again. "We're all better for having known him. I'm a better person for having known him," Bohn continued, adding that he often met Smith for breakfast and asked him for advice.

In the crowd, men dressed in baseball caps and Carhartts, fishermen and firefighters, lifted their sunglasses to carefully wipe their eyes. Couples leaned against one another for comfort and shelter from the wind. Smith's widow sobbed next to the podium. Their son, Gary, proudly wore his father's favorite hat, which was autographed by members of the television show The Deadliest Catch.

North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman, who drove from Sacramento to attend the memorial, shared his first impressions of Smith, who said he would endorse Huffman under realignment only if Congressman Mike Thompson, Smith's friend and the North Coast's former representative, also endorsed him. For the next few months, Huffman told the crowd, he was put through the paces. He met with multiple groups, multiple people, all over the county, in what he called "Humboldt County boot camp." He said Smith thought it was important that Huffman knew the place he would be representing. And when Smith gave his approval, Huffman received the full benefit of his influence, with support rolling in from all sides.

"One of the things I most appreciated about Jimmy is that his word was his bond," said Huffman. "His reputation was just golden. He taught us that we need to treat other people, whether they agree with us or not, with respect. Wouldn't politics be a lot better if we all did that?"

The audience applauded again. Huffman presented Jacque Smith with a plaque honoring her husband.

"I don't know where the souls of really good people like Jimmy go when they die," Huffman said. "But I hope the rivers are cold and clean, the salmon are thick and the ocean is calm."

The speakers in the ceremony were split evenly between friends and colleagues, but it was clear from their anecdotes and warmth that Smith had a way of blurring that line. One person who embodied both roles was Thompson, who often went hunting and fishing with his late friend.

"I'm very, very proud to be here," said Thompson when he got up to the podium, his voice colored with a sob at the bottom of his throat. "Jimmy was a different kind of politician. He was hard-working. He was humble. He knew people and he understood people. He was respectful to a fault. People respected him. I don't know anyone who had a bad word to say about him. I'm honored to have known him. When we first met, we just clicked. I knew we were going to be friends."

Thompson echoed what had been said earlier, that the world would be a better place if everyone were a little more like Smith.

"Make sure that you matter. He did that," Thompson said. "Everything he did improved life for everybody else. We should all do that."

After a prayer and several readings from the Bible, the ceremony closed with a rendition of Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone). As the last notes faded and the singer began to leave the stage, before the crowd could begin to speak again, the wind caught the unattended microphone and added its own voice to the proceedings — a low rush of sound, a hum. It was the kind of quiet moment you get before the fish takes the bait or you snap the perfect shot on a duck, the kind of moment Smith would have liked, and the kind he had too little of as he sacrificed his time to service.

Smith is survived by his wife, Jacque; his son Gary; his granddaughters McKayla Smith and Shawni Chrislock and her husband Kohl; his sisters Laurie Smith and Marnie Carr; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that donations be made to the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation in Smith's memory.

A Community Remembers

Man's Best Friend

In addition to being my confidant, my counsel and one of my best friends, Jimmy was also my duck hunting buddy. We took a lot of hunting trips together over the years but on this particular trip it was just Jimmy, me and my chocolate lab Katie. Whenever Katie and I were on hunting trips, I'd break home rules and bring a blanket to put on the bed so that Katie could sleep with me. She knew we were taking liberties we couldn't take at home, and she took full advantage of it, snuggling up to me all night. There's an old saying that dogs are a great judge of character, that they can tell a good person from a bad one. That was certainly true of Katie because, in the middle of the night, she bailed on me and spent the rest of the night with Jimmy in his bed.

U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson

'Seeking Middle Ground'

At a time in our country's history when we are deeply divided and people seem to be talking past each other, Jimmy Smith's approach to politics and life are more needed now than ever. Jimmy understood that whatever our personal points of view, solving our problems requires listening to each other and seeking middle ground.

Sadly we have all lost a friend and our community has lost a true leader. But we can best carry on Jimmy's legacy by striving to be like him in recognizing that we are first and foremost human beings and Americans and we are only Democrats or Republicans, conservatives or liberals second. Jimmy showed us that we have more in common than our differences, and that only by working together can we build a better community and country.

Former State Sen. Wesley Chesbro

A 'Moral Titan'

I went through a very serious health scare about five years ago. When Jimmy found out what I was going through, he called to offer words of encouragement and support. In fact, he called me periodically through the year to check in and see how I was doing. Whenever I ran into Jimmy in town or at some political event, he always gave me a big hug and inquired about my health. He helped me make it through some really rough times. Even when Jimmy was battling his own illness, he always seemed more concerned about the health and well-being of others. He was just such a genuinely caring and selfless soul. Jimmy taught me how humans should really treat one another. I am a better person for having known and learned from this moral Titan of a man. I'll miss you old friend.

Scott Bauer

Pollyanna

Jimmy and I first met supporting a mutual friend. We hit it off immediately. I was impressed by his positive attitude and his sophisticated grasp of a situation, even though he came across as, as he put it, a Pollyanna. I know that people often think a positive attitude means that you do not know what is going on. Jimmy and I agreed that people with negative attitudes do not know what is going on.

When he became supervisor, we worked together on a couple of meth task forces. I appreciated his work ethic combined with a total regard for dignity and respect. He cared about people who were affected by neighborhood meth problems but he really cared about the folks addicted to meth as well. And he wanted to get things done. He stuck with it until things got done.

I heard folks criticize him for being a "good guy," like that was a problem. Well, that "good guy" got a lot more done than a lot of the leaders who cultivated their critical attitudes. I miss him and appreciate all he has done for Humboldt County.

Former Director of Humboldt County Public Health Mike Goldsby

'That's Just my 20 Percent'

I worked with Jimmy at a time when the Board of Supervisors was generally perceived to have a 2-2-1 split, with Jimmy perpetually in the middle. He would often state his position with the dismissive "that's just my 20 percent," but he would use that 20 percent to build more consensus. A 3-2 vote just wasn't good enough for Jimmy. If you wanted his vote for your side, you'd have to earn it by reaching across to the other side and accommodating some of their concerns. He would hold back on casting his vote until the rest of the board could reach more agreement, to see if we could get to a 5-0. I think Jimmy wanted to do the most good for the most people in Humboldt County, so a vote that only represented 60 percent of the people, or even 80 percent of the people, just wasn't good enough. He wanted everyone to work toward agreement wherever possible.

Humboldt County 3rd District Supervisor Mark Lovelace

A Sack Lunch for Two

Life behind the Board of Supervisors Chambers was more lively and dynamic than most people saw by just watching our meetings. There was gentle bantering, negotiating, problem-solving, meetings with constituents, department heads, project advocates/opponents and other electeds, and laughter. There was often laughter when Jimmy was around.

And when the offices cleared for the lunch hour, it was often Jimmy in his office and I in mine continuing our work.

Sometimes, there'd be a soft knock on the outer door and Jacque would walk in carrying a sack lunch for two looking for her "Sweetie."  Jimmy's eyes always lit up as he greeted his "lovely bride" with a hug and kiss. I'd return to my office, and hear quiet murmuring of voices and the rustling of lunch. 

A good part of the essential fabric of Jimmy is Jacque and her unwavering support, faith and love.

Former Humboldt County Supervisor Jill Duffy

'Simple Acts of Kindness'

One of Jimmy's most endearing and and enduring attributes, what made him a wonderful supervisor, was his ability to touch so many with just simple acts of kindness. At his memorial last Friday Jacque reminded me that he was impressed by my work during devastating fires in Southern Humboldt in 2003. It reminded me that even while the fires were still being fought I received a letter from Jimmy, thanking me for my work and offering any assistance he could. It meant a lot to me. So much that I even framed it and hung it on my office wall. It was just as important to me as all the accolades that followed.

Humboldt County 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell

The Problem Solver

Jimmy for me was someone who was not merely interested in fixing problems, he was actually much more interested in developing the perspective and fortitude to avoid creating them in the first place. That, he figured, was a way to save time and be able to get to the things we enjoy.

Uri Driscoll

'The Antidote'

We live in a world where political and social disparities are often encouraged, where snark tends to get more attention than substance. Jimmy was the antidote to that. His goodness inspired people to be their better selves and to seek solutions with the people who, as Jimmy realized, were their neighbors — because we're all neighbors here. Every time a local public figure opts to take the high road, he or she will be stepping in Jimmy's footsteps all the way. 

Jennifer Savage

Absolute Dedication

When the state sent the Marine Life Protection Act implementation team to town, tensions between agency staff and fishermen ran high. Drama, threats and protests dominated the early meetings — except when talking with Jimmy. With his trademark calm, he spoke to us about the fishermen's concerns and advised us on how to best take those worries into consideration. Jimmy's dedication to his constituents was as absolute as his commitment to getting everyone as on the same page as possible. The imprint he made helped guide the North Coast MLPA stakeholders into doing what no other regional group in the state could do: Come together with a unified proposal on a complex resource management issue. 

Jennifer Savage

A 'Go-To Guy'

Jimmy loved Humboldt County and was truly a man of the outdoors. As a hunter and as both a recreational and commercial fisherman, Jimmy understood the importance of protecting our great outdoors. He approached every policy decision with that understanding and passion so that he and future generations would always have a beautiful place to hunt and fish. He studied hard, he listened to every opinion and he brought an unrivaled wealth of knowledge and passion for Humboldt County to every decision. Throughout my entire time in the state Senate and in Congress, he was my constant go-to guy, he had an impact on all resource-related public policy I ever dealt with. Humboldt County and its residents are already benefitting from Jimmy's great work, the returns of which will benefit Humboldt County for generations to come.

U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson

Enjoying the Ride

I am so thankful that my career in Humboldt County has been intricately woven together with Jimmy Smith's. We worked together to forge partnerships to restore the Salt River watershed; to resolve the problems and then restore the South Spit; to develop a management strategy for Humboldt Bay and to develop a multi-county partnership for integrated regional watershed management needs for water/wastewater and related infrastructure needs, and that is only a partial list.

Throughout all the trials and tribulations that these kinds of projects presented, we enjoyed the ride and all the people along the way. We always knew that whatever frustrations we were facing that day, it was worth persevering because our work would matter most to future generations and not to the drama of the moment. ... Always with humor and a smile on his face. ... This world would be a better place with more folks like Jimmy. I miss him dearly.

Arcata City Councilmember Mark Wheetley

Jimmy and the Talking Fish

Many people know about Jimmy's love of the outdoors. He loved to tell people about the sounds ducks and geese make and what they mean. One day, Jimmy and I were out fishing for sand dabs on my boat, the Reel Steel. We had just filled a bucket with the tasty fish when a fish at the top of the bucket made a squeaking sound.

We both made comments that we had never heard a fish "talk" before and I went forward to start the boat. I looked back to see Jimmy carefully lift the fish and gently return it to the water. When he saw that I had seen what happened he got a sheepish look on his face and said he couldn't take listening to that fish anymore. It became a running joke between us.

He was a great friend and I loved him dearly. I'll miss him.

Tim Klassen

'He Teased Me Relentlessly'

My first crossing out of Humboldt Bay was on Jimmy's boat. I was lucky enough to go salmon fishing with him a few times. He teased me relentlessly about the time on a back-cast my hook snagged his shirt. He always made it sound like I had opened him up with a knife and forced him to donate a gallon of blood. It was all in good fun.

He told me once about being out at sea alone and how an orca swam right up next to his boat and looked eye to eye with him. And in that moment a connection and respect was established by both. I hope one day to have that same experience because I know the spirit of Jimmy Smith will be there looking back at me! 

Arcata City Councilmember Mark Wheetley

'He Always Did'

Jimmy, Mike Thompson, and I were driving out to the Trinity River restoration ceremony. It was a big deal; Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt would be there, and it was the first time I'd staffed the Congressman without (District Rep) Liz (Murguia.) Mike was giving me the business for blanking on the name of the Willow Creek newspaper. Jimmy saw how nervous I was, so to put me at ease he started in on Mike, telling stories about missed shots, fish lost and other choice memories from their million hours together. He really got off some good ones, then Mike started in, and we laughed nearly all the way to Hoopa. Later, Jimmy told me that he was just taking care of me. He was. He always did. But he also loved any opportunity to rib Mike. They accomplished so much together and their brother-like friendship was such fun to behold. 

Allison Talbott

'Service to his Community'

Jimmy was humbled that he could be of service to his community and he defined his community as everybody. In small things and in big things, Jimmy was there with all his heart and soul. He was behind our efforts to clear the brush and young firs that had taken over his favorite hunting grounds above the Mattole (now BLM King Range). He took great interest and helped in our salmon restoration projects, providing the kind of support that was effective. And it was a joy to see how delighted he was telling me that the Pedrazinni boat launch on the lower Eel had been constructed, so that part of the river would be easily accessible to everyone. He enjoyed the hard work of bringing people together to accomplish both the great and small works that define a Humboldt way of life.

Michael Evenson

The Diplomat

One thing about Jimmy is he sure knew how to always handle his constituents in a diplomatic fashion. He welcomed praise and constructive suggestions but the thing about Jimmy, and this stands in contrast to many other supervisors, past and present, is that even if you sent him a scathing critique on an issue or vote he'd cast, he would always reply to every email and thank you for comments, no matter how much you might have disagreed on the topic at hand. 

Richard Salzman

'Back to Work'

His grasp of details was phenomenal and he never left anything to chance. I remember calling him on his last election night, one where he was "comfortably" ahead. In fact, it was a complete landslide. But Jimmy was at the elections department waiting for the final precincts to be in. I told him to go home and celebrate the "ass-kicking" he just gave. He chuckled and said, 'No.' He'd wait until the last precincts were counted and then he and Jacque would go home and maybe have a glass of wine. For Jimmy, elections were just something you had to go through to get back to work, not the other way around. ... He never raised his voice, but at times, a look would cross his face. You knew you might be out of line. And he was right.

Gregg Foster

'A Sparkle in his Eye'

What I remember most about Jimmy was his enthusiasm for all things. He was always engaged and showed a definite interest in whatever you might be talking about, be it the fire department or a recent fire or rescue call, or fishing, hunting or the most current event or issue in our community. Jimmy was "all in" on whatever you were discussing, and he always made you feel like you and what you were discussing were the most important things in the world right at that moment. He would get excited, with a big smile and a sparkle in his eye, and you felt a connection. I will be forever grateful for those discussions and the friendship that was always there.

Humboldt Bay Fire Chief Bill Gillespie

Follow Through

Honeydew Fire needed another building to protect a second fire engine from the rainforest elements we experience in our neck of the watershed. Jimmy worked with us to ease the county permit process and, after my husband died suddenly before construction could begin, Jimmy followed through on what he and Dan had started. In the meantime, he attended each Roll on the Mattole, handing over a hefty personal check every time, and eagerly visited with his constituents while he was there. After 'Trower Station' was completed, we had a dedication party open to the community on one of the hottest days of summer in 2009, where Jimmy presented to the Honeydew Volunteer Fire Company and my family two certificates of appreciation from the board of supervisors.

He passed on to his District 1 successor all his contacts, so that we felt he was still watching over us ... which he was. He emailed quite often after he retired, and Rex and he met for breakfast regularly.

Claire Trower, HVFC

The 'Service Politician'

The vignette I remember is Jimmy telling me he cleaned the Board Chambers, vacuuming, dusting etc. It impressed me to know a lofty politician would take on this mundane task to keep the meeting place clean for the audience.

I know that just a few weeks ago the Board of Realtors organized a Broadway clean-up day and Jimmy participated. This was something he also did in Fields Landing, and many other places, picking up dumped stuff and garbage. He was a servant politician who carried his duties into his life and made the county a better place.

Eureka City Councilmember Marian Brady

‘He Gave his Time’

He was a volunteer for so many things in Humboldt and he gave his time and support to Foster care and so many important programs for Humboldt County children. He will be missed.

Sonny Anderson

'A Dignified Presence'

I met Jimmy during his first supervisorial race. I bumped into him on the front steps of a house going door-to-door in south Eureka. I was campaigning for his opponent, Carlos Benemann. We introduced ourselves and his eyes sparkled at the humor of it. I liked him instantly.

He was dedicated in his attention to Petrolia. He showed up at the Grange barbecues, planning commission meetings, memorials. He was a dignified presence wordlessly affirming the rewards of order and tradition. But he was fun-loving too. We have this race in Petrolia called the Rye & Tide (it's modelled on the Ride & Tie horse race, but with bikes instead of horses), where you drink a jigger of rye (kids don't drink it) and leapfrog on a bicycle to the ocean. Then somebody like Socrates or Captain Ahab or Grover Cleveland gives a fine speech and gives out prizes. Everybody gets a prize. That's the whole point of the race.

We asked Jimmy if he'd do it and he didn't hesitate a moment. He gave a great speech about civic virtue and shook hands and had a conversation with every winner and got all smoky cooking hot dogs on a stick around the fire, demonstrating that you can get down and at the same time not lose a drop of your ceremonial dignity. Everyone out here will remember it.

Ellen Taylor

'Seeds of Kindness'

Jimmy led by example and would do just about anything for anybody. If he couldn't solve a problem, he would find the person or persons who could. He noted every visit, call and conversation in note pads. He regularly checked his notes to make sure things were getting done. He worked 24/7, always helping others. When the budgets were tight he was the first person to cut his own pay. He didn't ask for reimbursement for mileage or other business expenses. He shouldered the costs himself. He wouldn't ask anyone to do anything he wouldn't do himself. Jimmy greeted everyone with a warm hello. He was always making rounds in the community to make sure things were OK, and to see if there was anything he could do to make things better. Jimmy knew that working together was the only way to get things done. He believed in treating (all) people with dignity, kindness and respect. He planted his seeds of kindness everywhere he went. 

Former County Administrative Officer Loretta Sands, formerly Loretta Nickolaus

A Great Friend

A truly authentic human being. I loved, respected and trusted him.

Former State Assemblymember Patty Berg

'A Living Legacy'

Jimmy brought a statesman-like persona to the Board of Supervisors and developed relationships that benefited the county. Jimmy always invested 100 percent in his position as a supervisor and expected the same from others. He was instrumental in so many beneficial projects throughout the county and he invested in people tapping into their strengths, which has resulted in state, county and city leaders with a vision and purpose that will continue to be a living legacy to a great man.

Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey

'A Nod and a Smile'

Jimmy's State of the County speech for the League of Women Voters was a prime example of Jimmy doing something like nobody else can: make people feel appreciated.

Usually, the county supervisor who delivers this annual speech focuses on addressing the current conditions that the community is facing. What did Jimmy do? He picked out people from the crowd and thanked them for what they do for the community. Business owners, elected officials, board commissioners, foster parents, retirees, service club members, nonprofit leaders, avid fundraisers, the list goes on. I lost count of how many people Jimmy thanked that day, but what I remember is how good everyone felt after he got done. I can still picture him standing on the stage. He would look at someone with a nod and a smile and he would mention their name and individually thank them for what they do.

Humboldt County 4th District Supervisor Virginia Bass

'A Good Supervisor'

Many who worked directly with Jimmy will have more to say on this subject. For me, his legacy is his example of what makes a good supervisor — respect, hard work, a willingness and an ability to listen openly to all sides and work toward the best solutions possible; a love of Humboldt County in all her natural beauty, diversity and wonderful resources and an ability to foster collaboration toward common goals.

Humboldt County 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell

Jimmy's Struggle

I used to love our Thursday night "research" sessions at O.H.'s. Always a great discussion. Occasionally we'd get dinner and talk about future. Jimmy never complained about his health but was always concerned about how his struggle would affect his ability to follow through on some of the very important community projects he was spearheading. I say spearheading but he'd never talk about it that way. He was always part of a great team. His humility and dedication to true public service were inspiring and, as hard as I try, something I might never match.

Gregg Foster

‘Friend and Confidant’

Jimmy Smith was a colleague I could always count on. Jimmy consistently displayed genuine concern for the Sheriff's Office and the public and registered his commitment to both by ensuring his vote on the Board of Supervisors benefited all. In my position as Sheriff, I knew that I could count on Jimmy and would often meet with him in his office to discuss issues and solve problems confronting the county. I could always rely on Jimmy Smith and considered him a great friend and confidant. I will miss him and I cherish the time I was allowed to work with this great man.

Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey

'He Cared Deeply'

I worked with Jimmy in the courthouse. We saw each other, and talked, almost every day. He was so incredibly genuine and fun to be around. He believed in doing the "right thing" every time. Jimmy wanted to show that people who worked for the government did care and could help. When he couldn't help someone he would explain to them why. He made it a point to understand the details of everything. He made no decision without understanding the full consequences and outcome. He brought so many people together to solve problems and make our community a cleaner, safer, better place to live. He cared deeply about our county and brought in many outside resources for the environment, water quality, law enforcement, health and human services, roads, tsunami/disaster warning and planning, fisheries, dairies, ranchers, fire protection and developing local talent to lead and serve in a kind, competent, respectful and team oriented way. 

Former County Administrative Officer Loretta Sands, formerly Loretta Nickolaus

'My Inner Jimmy'

Jimmy's Legacy? Treat everyone with respect. Be considerate of their opinions even if they are different than yours. Take the time to let people know they are appreciated.

I realize that I don't let people know nearly often enough that they are appreciated and valued. As a tribute to Jimmy I am going to focus on "channeling my inner Jimmy" and change that.

Humboldt County 4th District Supervisor Virginia Bass

'Too Many Leaners'

Jimmy and I shared adjoining offices at the courthouse. When matters would sometimes heat up, go crazy or simply be frustrating; either one of us would pound the wall in hopes of gaining some attention. No problem there. We immediately would go to the hallway in front of our offices, which was a lone, narrow space leading to the conference room B door. Whereupon we would lag for quarters. A regular old budget balancing maneuver. He, of course, would win with too many leaners.

Former Humboldt County Supervisor John Woolley

'A Natural Leader'

Its hard to be comparative to others, but it is easy when it comes to Jimmy. He was truly dedicated like no other to the natural resources of our great environment. He was as great in deed as in the spoken word, a natural leader, where you would see everyone gravitate for understanding, agreement, sometimes solace and definitely joy. They should name a stool at the Marina Cafe after him.

Former Humboldt County Supervisor John Woolley

'A Better Example of Ourselves'

Jimmy Smith didn't just talk about our community and the people who live here, he was the people and our community. Everything he did or was involved with focused on making our community better. Jimmy lived and demonstrated the philosophy of "Service above Self." He gave everything he had to work on issues, to bring people together and to reach a consensus with people who often had very different views. He led by example, in that quiet manner that was Jimmy. He taught so many of us how to work cooperatively and how to be a better example of ourselves. I will miss him.

Humboldt Bay Fire Chief, Bill Gillespie

 


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