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Soaring to the top Clark County Treasurer Judy Beth Hutcherson ascends to AAC board presidency

By Kitty Chism For County Lines

Te 17 elected officials from around the state, who earlier

this year elected Judy Beth Hutcherson to be board president of the Association of Arkansas Counties, must have had in mind the old Ben Franklin adage “if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” Hutcherson is the first new president of the board in 15

years. She succeeds Mike Jacobs, who retired as Johnson County judge last fall but now serves as a justice of the peace. Te AAC board presidency most often has gone to one of the state’s 75 county judges. Hutcherson is a county treasur- er, albeit a highly visible one as a three-term president of the 100-member Arkansas County Treasurer’s Association. She won the Clark County Treasurer’s seat in 1997 and has

been re-elected handily every two years since. Te job is to manage the three-person office that receives and monitors and makes public all the revenue the county collects —mostly in fees and taxes — and distributes for county operations. Tat means keeping track of 190 different accounts,


Hutcherson says, and making sure that every one of those bal- ances at the end of each day. It’s detailed and demanding work that requires as much mastery of federal, state and local laws as it does agility with numbers. Hutcherson’s office is in the basement of the most beautiful building in the county — the Romanesque brick Clark Coun- ty Courthouse with its six-story clock tower in the center of Arkadelphia, built in 1899 and designed by Charles Tomp- son, that era’s most famous architect in the South. “I just love this job,” Hutcherson said in her signature alto

voice, her eyes crinkling into her just-as-customary smile as she speaks of the career niche she found quite by accident in life. “When I walk into this court house every day, I look up and just stand in awe. And I think how everything I do is for the good of the people who elected me.” She attributes her zest for public service to her father, a Bap- tist minister who grew up in Northwest Arkansas and for most of her growing-up years was a U.S. Army chaplain. Tat meant moving often — to Europe several times, but also to New Or- leans and Houston and Fort Smith so he could pursue his stud- ies in history, English and Latin and one day teach in the Bible



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