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Director’s DE S K


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his tenure at AAC if he wouldn’t mind overseeing contractors to remodel the ACME Brick building, an AAC-owned building across Victory Street from our building. It had been rented out intermittently through the years, and I thought his oversight could give us some usable rental property with consistent in- come. Well, apparently Wes doesn’t oversee contractors; he just jumped in and did it himself. In two to three months we had a building that was very marketable and much improved. To this day it has stayed occupied and rented because of his work.


I learned through the years that he had an incredible ability in construction. He built the library in Huntsville, as well as a number of houses in northwest Arkansas. And what he built, he built well. I worked on projects at home and leaned on his expertise. His advice was always sound.


What is most surprising about his early departure is that Wes was in fine health. Owning Oakridge Golf Course in Hunts- ville kept Wes in great shape. What I can tell you is that if you ever desire a life of leisure, do not own a golf course. He acted as head greenskeeper, mowing when the sun was out, eradicat- ing varmints when the sun went down, handling the pro shop all the while not turning much profit. Wes never lamented the finances, though. He wanted the golf course for the citizens of Madison County to enjoy.


As for counties, many of you have been represented well by Wes


Fowler through the years, though you may not know it. Whether it was sitting on the Highway Funding Blue Ribbon Committee, the Good Roads Council, the History and Heritage Preservation


Board, the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District Board and pro-bono interim director, the AAC board of directors or the AAC Legislative Committee, just to name a few, Wes repre- sented you and your counties well in this state.


We often think of a Renaissance man in cultural terms, maybe even with a highbrow connotation, but when you look at the definition, a Renaissance man refers to a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. Wes was definitely a Renaissance man when it came to county and state government. He understood every office and the interaction between them, a skill many of our county and state officials admired.


When Wes passed away on February 1, condolences poured into our office from the people who knew Wes as a county ambassador. But Wes was well known throughout Arkansas. Countless others I have met knew Wes as a library builder, county clerk, county judge, golf course owner, husband, dad, pawpaw, friend or just plain old nice guy.


To Wes’ wife Rose, to his daughters Melissa, Michelle, Lori, to his son Leon, and to his 6 grandchildren — thank you all for sharing Wes with our state. As a diplomat for the counties of Arkansas, and as my true friend, I can tell you he lived life to the fullest and represented you and Madison County well.


We will persevere and fight the fight with one fewer soul beside us, but we will be stronger within because of the impact Wes had on us all.


Until we meet again, my friend.


Four new members named to AAC board of directors Four new members joined


the AAC board of directors for its Feb. 8, 2017, meeting. They are: Benton County Cir- cuit Clerk Brenda DeShields, Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs, Crittenden County Collector Ellen Foote and Logan County Justice of the Peace Jeanne Andrews. In addition, the board elect-


ed officers. Congratulations to Clark County Treasurer Judy Beth Hutcherson for being re-elected board president. Randolph County Circuit Clerk Debbie Wise was re- elected vice-president, and Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison was elected secretary/ treasurer.


8 COUNTY LINES, WINTER 2017


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