This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
In This Issue


Greer returns to AAC as member of legal staff.


24


summer 2014


Features AAC names 2014 scholarship recipients ................................................................22


911 Blue Ribbon Committee tours call centers .....................................................28


Inside Look AAC Board profiles .......................................................................................................39


Cooperation among cities, counties fuels storm recovery.


30


Sheriffs hold meeting in Eureka Springs .................................................................41 Collectors slay dragons in Conway............................................................................42 County Clerks discuss workplace violence ..............................................................43 Treasurers elect officers, award scholarships ........................................................44 Miss Arkansas visits with judges ..............................................................................45 Coroners study crime scene photography ...............................................................46 Assessors gather in Bentonville ................................................................................46 Circuit Clerks focus on overcoming challenges ......................................................47 AAC staff profiles .........................................................................................................51


Departments From the Director’s Desk ..............................................................................................7


Montgomery County judge is advocate for rural counties.


34


President’s Perspective ................................................................................................9 Attorney General Opinions .........................................................................................11 Legal Corner ..................................................................................................................12 From the Governor .......................................................................................................13 County Law Update ......................................................................................................14 Savings Times 2 ...........................................................................................................15 Research Corner ..........................................................................................................16 Legislative Lines ...........................................................................................................19 Seems to Me .................................................................................................................20


Cover Notes: After the storm


into White County. Overall, the tornado remained on the ground for an hour and traveled along a 41.3-mile path. Sixteen people lost their lives, making the tornado the deadliest in Arkansas since 1968. Recovery efforts continue, but the damage wrought to both the people and the landscape will be evident for some time to come.


J


ust past 7 p.m. on April 27, a weak tornado touched down in western Pulaski County. It quickly intensified, destroying homes, leaving behind debris and killing residents. It entered Faulkner County about 20 minutes later, and eventually moved


“ COUNTY LINES, SUMMER 2014 (Photo by Angie Davis)


While natural disasters capture headlines and national attention short term, the work of recovery and rebuilding is long term.


— Sylvia Mathews Burwell


” 5


COVER


STORY


The EF4 tornado that hit Arkansas on April 27 beat a 24-mile path of destruction from western Pulaski County to Faulkner County and on to White County. After the Storm Recovery efforts have been fueled by cooperation among many jurisdictions.


Story by Kitty Chism Photography by angie davis For County Lines


Dodson bolted from the table, jumped into his white pickup and sped across town to the county Emergency Operations Center, his go-to bag in hand and satellite radio blaring. He reached the menacing gate of the wedged-into-a-cliff, state-of-the-art center off Hogan Lane just minutes after Sheila McGhee, his director of Emergency Services. Ten he took a seat with her crisis team around the conference table, their voices low, their laptops glowing, their eyes fixed alternately on a big-screened tele- vision and giant wall map as they plotted the path of this storm with the help of radar, news reports and calls from expert storm trackers. It was April 27, 2014. Te origin of this powerful squall, Arkansas’ worst in a half-century, was a polar front that had plunged down the Rocky Mountains, fueling a half-mile wide, rotating super-cell that gath- ered speed as it traveled. It touched ground a little after 7 p.m. Ten it beat a 24-mile path of destruction from Ferndale to Vilonia.


F 30


aulkner County Judge Allen Dodson was enjoying Sunday dinner with his mom and siblings when he heard the first foreboding alerts on his cell phone. Te threatening storm moving in from the west was developing tornado strength.


“Te real trigger for our response, after we knew for sure that the tor- nado had touched down, was the call from [Mayflower Fire Chief] Carl Rossini telling us what he saw happening,” McGhee said. Rossini had been standing in the parking lot behind Mayflower’s


City Hall, watching the shadowy swirl of the angriest storm he had ever seen, snapping power lines, mangling trees and scrubbing houses right off their slabs. Te sight was riveting until it became terrifyingly clear that the debris-spewing tempest was headed straight for him and the City Hall safe room, where he had encouraged a dozen city workers and friends to take cover.


Ten, just as the funnel got within a few thousand yards of him, it made a sharp turn northeast across the interstate. He actually saw it pivot, heard it roar into the RV dealership on the other side of the high- way and felt its deadly force as it blew out windows and sheared off roofs of everything it did not demolish. By then Rossini was set to turn his office into a mini command center for local search, rescue and medical responders, volunteers and road department crews. By the time he saw the funnel pivot, he was already


COUNTY LINES, SUMMER 2014


PROFILE “It’s a unique situation for an


Arkansas county. It’s hard for [officials in other counties] to understand why some of us are so concerned about the Forest Service and the federal government.”


— Alvin Black, Montgomery County Judge


Above: Judge Black tells members of the Arkansas Legislature, “Do what you can to make sure our fragile economy in Montgom- ery County and the surrounding region is not destroyed by overly protecting a mussel.”


Right: Judge Black begins each day the same way his father, who was an elected county official, did — by seeing off the road crew, and then attending to business in the courthouse office.


Judge is advocate for rural counties


By Christy L. Smith AAC Communications Coordinator


Federal monies, legislation are everyday worries for official in Montgomery County


clerk and judge for a total of 22 years; his mother was county clerk for three terms — Black had many occasions to walk the courthouse halls as a youngster. In fact, one of his fondest memories is escorting his father to work. “One of my earliest memories is going with my dad before


I 34


t’s no exaggeration to say that Judge Alvin Black grew up in the two-story stone building that has housed Montgomery County government since 1923. With parents who served as elected county officials — his father was sheriff, county


school,” Black said. “He would go up to the road department and see the road crew off in the morning, and then we’d go back home and have breakfast. Ten I would go to school.” It’s the same ritual that Black follows today — minus the school part. “It’s really surreal in a way because that’s what I do now. I go to


the road department and see them off in the morning, and then I come up here,” he said. Black, a native of Mount Ida, is in his third term as Montgomery County judge. He previously served 14 years as county treasurer. And though he is surrounded by a rich history every day that he goes to work, he faces a set of challenges much different from those of other counties, even in Arkansas.


M


ontgomery County spans 800 square miles and has a popu- lation of about 9,400 people. Known for its quartz crystal


COUNTY LINES, SUMMER 2014


COUNTY OFFICIAL


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56