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COUNTY OFFICIAL


PROFILE


of 28 years dedicated to county government. Foote has lived in


S


erving the people of Crittenden County is in Ellen Steele Foote’s blood. She has been the Crittenden County tax collector for the past 18 years and has worked in the county clerk’s office for 10 — a total


Crittenden County all of her life — in both West Memphis and Marion. She graduated from Mar- ion High School and at- tended Arkansas State University. She and her husband, McVey Foote, have been together for


“Y Ellen Foote Crittenden County Collector


ou have to have a servant’s heart and real- ize that you’re here to help people.


17 years. Tey have a 12-year-old daughter, Claudia, who is named after Foote’s father, Claude Steele, a former justice of the peace in the county. She loves her “big babies” Smokey and Lulu, two Great Pyrenees that are “spoiled rotten.” Foote is president of the Arkansas Tax Collectors Associa- tion, but her service does not stop at tax collector. She is the


the late Melton Holt who served as both tax collector and treasurer. However, Foote doesn’t see these roles as hardships. Tey





are a part of public service that she loves. “I love being in county government and helping all the people of this county,” she said. With all the experience she has amassed, Foote has several pieces of wisdom for those interested in government work. “You have to have a servant’s heart and realize that you’re


here to help people,” she said. “It’s not easily done because you have laws to follow, and sometimes residents don’t like our answers. So, you have to have a tough skin.” Tere’s always something evolving in county government, especially as technology is slowly changing how county govern- ment operates. Foote is living some of these changes right now. “Crittenden County is trying to be more technology fo-


cused,” she said. “We are doing everything we can to help people pay their taxes, whether that’s online, phone or through applications. We have new software now that we didn’t have in the past. We’re evolving with the times.” Tere are challenges to her job, which keeps things inter- esting every day. “Tere’s always some new law that’s getting passed ...


we’re always adding to our toolbox to make our jobs more efficient and streamlined,” she said. Now that the 2017 Legislative Session is over, Foote and


Crittenden County are pleased to see a change in how min- eral-producing counties will publish their minerals. “Counties can now publish their minerals online,” she explained. “Tis is going to save counties a lot of money in publications costs. Tis was the biggest bill that we hoped to see get passed.” When she’s not at work, she’s busy doing things for and with her family. Tey enjoy going to movies and watching and playing sports. Her daughter finished basketball and is now starting softball, which will keep the family busy. She also loves to travel to New Orleans, where she and her husband are members of Te Krewe of Tucks. Tey also love to visit Petit Jean Mountain, Hot Springs and beaches. But her favorite destination is Little Rock, where her brother, Kevin, and his family live. Where does Foote see herself in 20 to 30 years? “We hope to be retired somewhere in New Orleans or the


beach,” she said. “However, it’s probably more accurate to say we’ll be near our daughter.”


42 COUNTY LINES, SPRING 2017


treasurer at her daughter’s school, a member of the Trinity In Te Fields Anglican Church and serves on its board. She and her husband coach their daughter’s basketball team, and she has served as treasurer for the Marion Chamber of Commerce for 18 years. Foote jokingly ex- plained that it was inevi- table that she was named treasurer because she is also the tax collector for the county. Tis unoffi- cial tradition began with


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