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Greer brings hands-on experience with county government to his role as legal counsel with the association

Story and Photography by Christy L. Smith AAC Communications Coordinator

Greer is the staff contact for the Arkansas Circuit Clerks Associa- tion, the Arkansas County Tax Collectors Association, the Arkansas County Assessors’ Association and the Arkansas Association of Quo- rum Courts. AAC Executive Director Chris Villines said Greer’s knowledge of


Arkansas law, his ability to communicate effectively to stakeholders, and his leadership skills make him an asset to the association. “Jonathan’s previous experience at AAC as general counsel and his time as a county attorney will prove to be extremely beneficial to our association and our stakeholders. We’re thrilled to have him on the team,” said AAC Executive Director Chris Villines. “His familiarity with county gov- ernment, current trends and challenges make him a great fit for our association as we continue to grow and ex- pand our services for county elected officials across the state of Arkansas.” Greer served as gen- eral legal counsel for AAC from 2002 to 2007. And one of the biggest successes during that five- year tenure was getting state lawmakers to pass a recording fee increase for the Circuit Clerks Association, he said. At the time, the fees paid for recording instruments such as mort- gages and deeds in the circuit clerk’s office were $8 and $3. “We did a study of the states that bordered Arkansas and compared

make him a great fit for our association as we con- tinue to grow and expand our services for county elected officials across the state of Arkansas.

“H Chris Villines Executive Director, Association of Arkansas Counties ”

he Association of Arkansas Counties welcomed General Counsel Jonathan Greer back into its fold on June 1. He joins the three attorneys already on staff — Mark Whitmore, Brandy McAllister and Lindsey Bailey.

(Lincoln County). His father worked for the planning district in Pine Bluff, and his mother was a bookkeeper at his grandfather’s oil com- pany. His grandmother worked in the circuit clerk’s office. Greer, who grew up wanting to be a lawyer, graduated from the

University of Central Arkansas in 1994 with a bachelor of science in public administration. He attended classes at the University of Arkan- sas at Little Rock School of Law at night to earn his juris doctor. Before passing the bar and joining the AAC family in 2002, Greer

is familiarity with county govern- ment, current trends and challenges

worked for two years as a grants administrator at the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District (SEAEDD). He left AAC in 2007 to serve as Saline County attorney, a posi- tion in which he advised county elected officials, the quorum court, the Saline County planning board, the airport commission and the rural fire departments. “Working for Saline County was a great experi- ence,” Greer said. “Te elected officials and employ- ees were extremely dedicated to serving the public.” Villines, who was Saline County collector for 11 years and worked with Greer at the courthouse level, said he knew Greer would be an “asset to us here at the AAC” when the legal counsel role became available.

the average cost to record instruments in their states,” Greer explained. “We were at or near the bottom.” Increasing the fees to $15 and $5, respectively, put Arkansas more in line with neighboring states, Greer said. But it “was a tremendous lob- bying effort,” to convince legislators to support the increases, he said. “[Circuit clerks] weren’t generating enough revenue to meet the ex- penses of their office. [Te increase] put them on more sound footing, to meet the expenses and to keep up with the automation require- ments of their offices,” Greer said. Greer and his wife, Karen, were born and raised in Star City


“I think it’s a grand slam for AAC to be able to pick up an attorney of his caliber,” Villines said. And Greer has hit the ground running, attending summer associa- tion meetings and preparing for the upcoming legislative session. He said one of his largest tasks between now and January will be to research and draft bills and find sponsors for each one. But he’s not daunted by the large task at hand. “I look forward to being able to lobby on behalf of improved county

government,” Greer said. “I think that working at the courthouse gave me a better sense of what county officials face on a day-to-day basis, and I hope that experience I gained can be useful here at AAC.” Greer and his wife live in Benton with their 3-year-old son, Charlie

Gage. He enjoys golf and hunting, but horse racing is a passion. “I love going to horse races at Oaklawn during racing season. Tis

year it occurs during the legislative session, so I might have to skip it,” he said, smiling.


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