Sam Mamet Good Governance Award goes to La Jara’s Larry Zaragoza
Larry Zaragoza, town manager of La Jara, describes good municipal governance as being courteous to the public, solving problems of the town, and finding ways to allow citizens to participate. He also values transparency and the importance of team work.
For these values, Zaragoza was awarded the 2022 Sam Mamet Good Governance Award by the Colorado Municipal League during a June ceremony. He was nominated for the award by La Jara Mayor Paula Medina.
“Good governance is overseeing a municipality and making sure all the pieces are working together and doing it in a way that’s a positive approach and asset building approach where our staff, our trustees and everybody feels like they’re a part of what’s going on in our community and the decisions being made,” Medina said in her nomination. Zaragoza, she said, is a standout in these areas “as far as bringing people together and bringing a positive aspect to the office.”
Zaragoza, one of Colorado’s top cross country and distance running coaches before his transition to municipal government, recognized his wife, Julie, and the town employees of La Jara, for putting him in a position to be recognized.
Zaragoza and his family have lived in La Jara for 45-plus years. “To receive this award and be recognized for it, I know I didn’t achieve this alone,” he said. “This has been with the support of our employees, these individuals have to receive credit too for the team effort.”
Sam Mamet is the retired CML executive director. The award in his honor recognizes an “individual who exemplifies and seeks to expand the application of principles of good governance.”
PHOTO: Larry Zaragoza and Sam Mamet