welcome the new elects as they get settled into their respective offices across our great state. We are thankful for those who have served county govern- ment, and we wish you all the very best in either retirement or your next endeavors. As you already know, serving the public in a county elected office is a critical role of local and state govern- ment. A lot of times, it is a thankless job. We thank you for your service to your counties and to the Natural State. Many newly elected officials were introduced to the Association


of Arkansas Counties (AAC) during our newly elected seminars. Te AAC made some changes to this year’s biennial newly elected seminars in December. I want to thank leadership and seasoned officials in every one of our member associations and AAC staff for hosting and executing top-notch training for our newly elected officials. We often refer to taking office for the first time as “drinking from a fire hose.” Tis year AAC struc- tured these seminars to be more personal and focused in each office instead of tackling all the new officials’ training in one day with several breakout sessions. During a two-week span, several member groups spent at least one day training; some put in two days here at AAC. All groups listened on their first mornings to presentations about the AAC on topics ranging from AAC structure and policy, to communications and the Freedom of Information Act and from risk management to retirement. In the afternoons and ensuing days, member group seminars be- came more office specific as staff and leadership dug deeper into the details of each office. We certainly hope we gave those newly elected officials who attended a good start at understanding their offices’ roles in the courthouse. But there is no equivalent

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Welcome to newly elected officials

ith another term for county officials, a new year and another general session underway, it is timely to reflect and say “thank you and goodbye” to our former county officials and to

like actually serving in the office day to day. Terefore, associations will continue their educational efforts by offering continuing education seminars throughout the year. After all, AAC is here to continue to serve for the betterment of county govern- ment. As you can imagine, new of- ficials will have many more questions once they get their feet wet and work in the office for a couple months. Besides continuing education,

President’s Perspective

AAC assists county officials in a mul- titude of ways. As board president, I have enjoyed a unique perspec- tive of the impact of that assistance. AAC liaisons work closely with each association constantly vetting proposed legislation, educating officials on trends and changes in the law, and helping serve as a conduit with the state Legislature. If you are a newly elected county official and were not able to attend the seminars, I encourage you to contact AAC. Te support and guidance the staff can provide will be significant in your new role. I wish you all the very best in public service. 75 counties. One voice.

Judy Beth Hutcherson

Judy Beth Hutcherson Clark County Treasurer / AAC Board President AAC board presents

retiring member with Diamond service award

At their December 2016, meeting, the Asso- ciation of Arkansas Counties’ board of directors presented its Diamond Award to Andrea Billing- sley for her service to Little River County and to the board. Billingsley retired from her position as Little River County circuit clerk at the end of 2016. AAC created the Diamond Award last year to honor those with outstanding service to Arkansas counties. Pictured here are AAC Board President and Clark County Treasurer Judy Beth Hutcherson and Billingsley.


Judy Beth Hutcherson AAC Board President; Clark County Treasurer

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