Make a Difference"
Supervisor Claw was born in Chinle Valley, Arizona to Jones (a railroad worker who died when Jim was 12 years old) and Mary Ann Claw. He is the third of five children. “I remember we moved around a lot when I was little’ he said. ‘I think those early years spent off-reservation influenced my ability to get along with people of all races. Later years in boarding schools nine months a year helped forge my independence.”
He graduated from Chinle High School in 1964, College of Marin, Kentfield, California in 1968, and further pursued his education at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jim and Marie, his wife of 40 years have two grown sons, Jimmy and Ryan and 5 grandchildren.
He took his first steps into public service in 1977 when he was elected to the governing board of the Chinle Unified Schools. He served 10 years and 7 ½ of those years as President of the Board. He also served four years as President of the Chinle Chapter Government. Among other civic duties he enjoyed were stints with Navajo Nation Employees’ Advisory Board, numerous youth support groups, and advocating for his community.
Mr. Claw was appointed Apache County District One Supervisor in January 2002 after serving seven years as District Manager. In 2004 he was elected to a full four-year term.
As appointee, he brought to the county a firm belief in cooperation and partnerships, which translates to getting more work done at less cost to those that perform similar work. By the first year of Supervisor Claw’s elected term, District One had successfully implemented a strategy to gain close working relations with the people, communities, chapter governments, state and federal entities.
Encouraged, District One continued to expand its roads program with formal road maintenance agreements with BIA and the Navajo Nation. It took the lead role in the successful establishment of a regional road maintenance partnership, the Dine’ Indian Roads Transportation Systems (DIRTS). DIRTS is comprised of the Navajo Dept. of Transportation (NDOT), northwest New Mexico counties of San Juan and McKinley, San Juan County-Utah and expressed interest by Coconino and Navajo counties. BIA agencies that were instrumental in the establishment of DIRTS were Western Navajo, Northern Navajo, and Ft. Defiance.
Local government-to-government arrangements provide added support for the partners to pool expertise and scarce resources. Consequently, improved road services for the traveling public and school transportation programs in northern Arizona.
“This year we broke new grounds by, for the first time in the history of District One, embarking on the use of magnesium-chloride for dust control and gravel on our roads,” he said.