Jim Mudd is a stand-up guy.
He stands up to challenges.
He stands up to public requests for his time, and answers.
He is standing up to cancer.
He has run the gamut for the past seven years as Collier County government’s manager and the past six months as a cancer patient — a role that he announced to us all at a public, televised County Commission meeting.
He is even a stand-up guy about submitting his resignation, saying he was doing so because his cancer was affecting his job performance.
The fact that his top assistant, Leo Ochs, is able to step in and up is another testimonial to Mudd’s stand-up ways — making sure that a successor and leadership team are in place to carry on.
That is what effective leaders do. They know their work is not about them; it’s about those they serve.
This newspaper and, we believe, this community wishes Mudd and his family all the best as they fight on with the grit of a military man and the heart of a good man.
Mudd’s tenure as manager gave us all a clinic on how to get things done and do things right. He helped our road and utilities infrastructure catch up after years of neglect. He made sure ethics policies were in place and enforced. He did his homework and paid attention to detail. He sensed hard times and planned for them.
He managed to stay above the fray of politics and was happy to fulfill his role as manager rather than wheeler-dealer.
The words most repeated by his legion of fans and friends in their testimonials in this section today and the days to come include service, leader, heart, role model, task master, humble, funny, promise keeper.
He has earned them all.
Our fondest wish is for Mudd and his family to work with their doctors, and win, and have Mudd get back to being a valued contributor and analyst of public policy and services.
He has so much to offer.
Then again, most stand-up guys do.
Especially the one we know whose name is Mudd.