Director’s DE S K

County Lines Magazine

County Lines is the official publication of the Association of Arkansas Counties. It is published quarterly. For advertising in- quiries, subscriptions or other information relating to the magazine, please contact Christy L. Smith at 501.372.7550.

Executive Director / Publisher Chris Villines

Communications Director/ Managing Editor Christy L. Smith

Communications Coordinator/ Editor

Holland Doran AAC Executive Board:

Sherry Bell Ellen Foote

Brenda DeShields John Montgomery Rhonda Cole

David Thompson Debbie Cross

Judy Beth Hutcherson – President Debbie Wise – Vice President Brandon Ellison – Secretary-Treasurer Debra Buckner Jeanne Andrews Jimmy Hart

Gerone Hobbs Sandra Cawyer Bill Hollenbeck

National Association of Counties (NACo) Board Affiliations

Judy Beth Hutcherson: NACo board member. She is the Clark County Treasurer and president of the AAC Board of Directors.

Debbie Wise: NACo board member. She is the Randolph County Circuit Clerk, vice president of the AAC Board of Directors and chair of AAC’s Legislative Committee.

Ted Harden: Finance & Intergovernmental Affairs Steering Committee. He serves on the Jefferson County Quorum Court.

Kasey Summerville: Finance, Pensions & Intergov- ernmental Affairs Steering Committee. She is the Clark County Assessor.

David Hudson: Vice Chair of NACo’s Justice and Public Safety Steering Committee. He is the Sebastian County Judge and member of the Rural Action Caucus Steering Committee.

Barry Hyde: Justice and Public Safety Steering Com- mittee. He is the Pulaski County Judge.

Gerone Hobbs: Membership Committee. He is the Pulaski County Coroner.

Kade Holliday: Arts and Culture Committee and In- ternational Economic Development Task Force. He is the Craighead County Clerk.


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Looking ahead to 50th anniversary, 2017 retirements

many of our annual conferences, and you easily iden- tified this as a list of recent conference themes. We hope you had the chance to participate in the 2017 conference that just wrapped up. If you did, you heard from a fantastic slate of speakers for both the general and breakout sessions. We extend our gratitutde to state legislators, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Gov. Asa Hutchinson for speaking to and interact- ing with county officials.


Chris Villines AAC

Executive Director For those of you who could not make it to Pulaski County this year, we hope

you are saving your energy to attend our biggest and best-ever conference next year. Next year will mark our 50th year of existence at the AAC — and, there- fore, our 50th annual conference. What a great time for our counties to shine. In honor of our golden anniversary, we are relocating the conference but staying in northwest Arkansas. In 2018, we will move to the Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas Hotel, Spa and Convention Center in Rogers.

Many of you have had an opportunity over the past few years to visit this fa-

cility, and we think you’d agree it is perfect for our needs. It is entirely contained indoors, and the convention space is ideal for a conference of our size.

I’d also like to thank county members for participating in a vote at our con-

ference to add a second board member from the Arkansas Coroners’ Association to the AAC board of directors. Tis group has made great strides in recent years to become more engaged in county government and to be better educated to handle complicated cases arising in the medicolegal death investigation world. With the addition of one coroner, the AAC board now is comprised of 18 folks — two members from each of our member associations.

Often we talk about the great times we had at our conferences, and I cer- tainly think we all value those moments we spend with our friends from across the state. But it is a great thing when I look in on a breakout session to find a standing-room-only crowd in the room. We will add more seats in 2018. I am glad the county officials who attended at the conference were engaged and interested in the topics we had to offer.

Te AAC staff did an outstanding job organizing breakout sessions focusing on topics that resonate with our counties. Medical marijuana, legislative com- mittee meetings, HR Best Practices, personal development, courthouse security and retirement/Social Security are meaty issues that attracted many of you. Nel- son Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It rings especially true when you, our civic leaders across the state, take knowledge home to all corners of Arkansas.

We are always planning the next year’s conference, and we depend on you to >>> 7

op quiz … what do jungles, symphonies, board games, construction and carnivals all have in common? For those of you who know, chances are likely you’ve attended

Director’s Desk

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