WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. – Lawrence County employees aren’t getting raises yet but they most likely will after the Quorum Court agreed on a three percent raise for all county employees, excluding elected officials, Monday night.
There must be two more readings of the ordinance before it can go into effect, but the County Judge did tell NEA Report he plans to call a special session and pass the last two in an emergency reading clause during said meeting.
All county employees except for elected officials will receive a three percent raise, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2016, once the final two readings are passed.
Disaster Training Center
In other business, the court unanimously voted to support the Disaster training center discussed at the previous Walnut Ridge Airport Commission meeting. Justice of the Peace Lloyd Clark made mention of it bringing up to 400 per week into Lawrence County for several days to train. Just down the road in Imboden, Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp spoke with the Imboden City Council on Monday and they, too, passed a measure allowing Imboden Mayor Chris Jones to move forward with work to bring in the disaster training facility. Imboden could receive a satellite office to host river-rescue training, among other disaster training activities.
Future meetings will be held at the same time, 5:30 p.m., after an ordinance presented by County Judge Dale Freeman to change the meeting time to 7:00 p.m. was voted down 5-3. Voting in favor were justices Crafton, Moore, and Wayland. Voting against were justices Briner, Clark, Jones, Latham and Richey. Freeman commented the people who wanted the meeting times changed would need to take it up with the JPs who voted no.
Justice of the Peace Resignation/Replacement
JP Jim Jones resigned to take a job with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, necessitating a replacement. In executive session, Freeman said JPs tied in a 4-4 vote on the replacement for Jones: Glenn Smith and Pardoe Roberts. Both men are decorated law enforcement veterans and Freeman, casting the tie-breaking vote, chose to recommend Smith to fill the position. He must be sworn in by Governor Asa Hutchinson, the court agreed.
JP Clark later told NEA Report the governor still could choose to reject the nomination, to appoint someone else, or to appoint no one.
Watch the full meeting below or on our NEA Report Facebook page anytime.