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AAC


PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE


An overview of the AAC Board: A body with a unified voice that never waivers


been a challenging opportunity, as the board is a true work- ing board that comes together any time a pressing issue must be addressed, not just during one of its bimonthly meetings. Te board is comprised of 18 members — two representa-


O


tives from each of the AAC’s nine affiliate associations. Tere are two county judges, two county clerks, two circuit clerks, two sheriffs, two collectors, two treasurers, two assessors, two coroners, and two justices of the peace. Te affiliate associa- tions elect these officials to serve on the board, with trust and confidence that they will do what is best, not only for their individual associations, but for county government as a whole. Tese board members are your voice — the collective voice


referred to in the AAC motto, “75 Counties. One Voice.” Te board members might change, but the collective voice never wavers. I have served on the AAC Board since 2012, and I have been impressed by the knowledge, leadership, dedication, and loyalty of my fellow board members. Each brings to the table years of experience in his or her position. Tey know well the issues affecting their offices, and they readily share that knowledge to help everyone understand the larger picture of county government, not just our own offices. AAC Board members demonstrate an admirable level of leadership. Te board has four standing committees: the Scholarship Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, the Budget Committee, and the Personnel Committee. Each board member serves on at least one standing committee, with one serving in the capacity of chairman. Our board members are leaders at the state level, serving on commissions at the behest of the Governor and advocating at the state Capitol on behalf of county government. It’s amaz- ing to watch these individuals working in tandem to gain the best outcomes for counties. Several of our board members exercise their leadership skills on the national level by serving on National Association of Counties (NACo) committees. Te AAC Board president and vice-president are automatic members of the NACo Board of Directors. So, at NACo conferences and meetings, the AAC Board gives Arkansas counties a voice at the federal level. Te dedication of our board members is remarkable. As I said previously, the AAC Board is a working board. Each member has a day job, which they balance with committee and other meetings outside of the regular bimonthly board meetings. For instance, the Budget Committee recently met


COUNTY LINES, FALL 2019


ne of the greatest honors I’ve had since being elected Randolph County Circuit Clerk has been to serve on the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC) Board of Directors. It’s also


to set the AAC’s annual budget. Te process works much like that of a county quorum court. Members of the committee review financials and consider future goals before the committee even meets. Ten they come together to draw up a budget recommendation that the full board eventually votes on. Tat vote is rarely a quick vote, as questions arise and discussion contin- ues among the full board. Regardless of the situation, our board is always loyal to county


DEBBIE WISE AAC Board President;


Randolph County Circuit Clerk


government. Tat is on full display during a legislative session. Te board’s Legislative Committee is made up of three rep-


resentatives from each of the nine affiliate associations. Tose affiliate associations develop their legislative priorities. Ten their appointed Legislative Committee representatives gather to discuss the needs of the different associations, how legisla- tion might affect each association, how all the associations can best work together to achieve a shared priority, and more. Te Legislative Committee polishes the affiliate associations’ proposals, then recommends those proposals to the AAC Board. Te board meets with the Legislative Committee to further refine what will become the AAC’s legislative package. Troughout the legislative session, AAC Board members


remain steadfast in their efforts to achieve the priorities outlined in that package. Tey maintain a regular presence at the state Capitol to underscore the seriousness of the items included in the package — items such as 911 reform, retirement, voting equipment, and more. Tey also regularly participate in impromptu conference calls to discuss strategy toward harmful legislation introduced during the session. So, you see why I call serving on the AAC Board of Direc- tors an honor and a challenge, but I welcome the opportunity to serve. I do not take this commitment lightly. I understand the responsibility that comes with being part of the collective voice of county government. And I will continue to humbly serve the interests of not only my fellow circuit clerks, but of all county and district elected officials — just as I know my fellow board members will.


Debbie Wise Debbie Wise


Randolph County Circuit Clerk / AAC Board President 11


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