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Fall brings a busy season to the association

into their respective budget processes, plan for 2016 and navigate a multitude of day-to-day operations and duties. One wrinkle to this fall season came out of Act 4 of the 90th Arkansas General Assembly’s First Extraordinary Special Session. It moved the dates of the Preferential Pri- mary and the General Primary Election to March 1, 2016. As many of you know, this was in an effort to interject Arkansas and several other Southern states into the Presi- dential Primary process earlier. Tis change also altered the candidate-filing period to Nov. 2-9. So the stage or stages across the state for elected office in the 2016 primary are set. Candidates have from now until March 1 to get all their primary campaigning in. Good luck to all and get out and register and vote Arkansas. County officials of Arkansas are engaged in several state and local issues at any given time. Of late, general fund- ing, highway funding, jail overcrowding, crisis stabilization units and 911 services seem to be the mainstays in the county conversation. Te Governor’s Working Group on Highway Funding


Te Association of Arkansas Counties staff has been busy as usual assisting county officials with various tasks this time of year as counties dive

all is finally here.

more holistic approach involving plans and strategies to modernize and standardize 911 services. Our executive director, Chris Villines, serves on the Blue Ribbon Com- mittee and will continue to help that body find solutions to the challenge. In October, the AAC board of

President’s Perspective

directors officially dedicated its law library as the Jonathan Greer Memorial Law Library. Jonathan was the AAC’s general counsel who passed in April. Many of his friends and family were on hand for the dedication. His likeness via a memorial plaque now welcomes all who enter the library. Te dedication was a testament to the love and respect we all have for Jonathan. It was an honor to be a part of such a deserving and heartfelt family event. Jonathan’s son, Charlie Gage, donated a book — Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBrantley — to the library collection. Kyle Dooley, grandson of Eddie Jones, former AAC

will release its report to the administration by Dec. 15. Counties have worked diligently with several stakehold- ers and working group members, and we look forward to seeing progress on this critical issue for urban and rural Arkansas. We will continue to be a partner in manifesting solutions for our state and local governments. Our county jails continue to struggle with overcrowd- ing. County judges’ and sheriffs’ leadership have formed subcommittees to address the jail population crisis and will be communicating with the administration and legislators sharing their findings and ideas in the coming weeks. No one magic idea can solve this dynamic challenge. Te Blue Ribbon Committee on Local 911 Services continues its work on dissecting and understanding the state of 911 services in Arkansas. We know the funding model needs to be modernized; however, senate and house leader- ship have made it clear that they have no appetite for merely increasing user fees to fix 911. We know they want to see a

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executive director and current AAC consultant, painted an oil painting in honor of Jonathan. AAC will soon offer reprints of Dooley’s artwork for purchase and all proceeds will go toward a college fund for Charlie Gage.

Judy Beth Hutcherson AAC Board President; Clark County Treasurer

Judy Beth Hutcherson Clark County Treasurer / AAC Board President

Judy Beth Hutcherson

Did an aspect of county government “make news” recently in your county? Did any

of your county officials or staff get an award, appointment or pat on the back? Please let us know about it for the next edition of County Lines magazine. You can write up a couple of paragraphs about it, or if something ran in your local paper, call and ask them to forward the story to us. We encourage you or your newspaper to attach a good quality photo, too: e-mail


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