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Mayor Pro-Tem James Payne

Commissioner James Payne is a dedicated public servant and the esteemed Mayor of Gretna. With nearly 20 years of experience in law enforcement, Mr. Payne brings a rich and diverse background that contributes to his exemplary leadership. He has a deep-rooted commitment to community development and a genuine passion for improving the lives of residents.

Payne has been instrumental in shaping Gretna into a thriving and inclusive city through his work at The Florida Historic Preservation, The African American Mayor’s Association, The Northwest Florida League of Cities and the Correctional Peace Officer Foundation. His genuine connection to the people has been a driving force behind his dedication to public service.

Born and raised in Gadsden County, Payne has deep ties to the community. His upbringing instilled in him a strong sense of responsibility towards his neighbors, fueling his desire to make a positive impact on their lives.

Before assuming the role of Mayor, Payne garnered extensive experience in various fields, including numerous positions in Federal Law Enforcement at the United States Department of Justice and the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office. He honed his expertise in leadership and service through determination, stiving for excellence, strong organizational skills, and meticulous attention to detail to effectively meet the community’s needs.


With nearly 30 years in the workforce, Payne has proven that he is committed to continuous growth and development. His strong leadership qualities and ability to navigate complex projects have earned him the respect and admiration of his constituents.

Mayor Payne is deeply committed to inclusivity, social equity, and community engagement and will continue to provide a welcoming, and prosperous economy for every citizen who calls Gretna home.