Justice of Peace Steve Goode, District 3, Vilonia, said he has been working at his Little Rock office as the state director of Arkansas Tobacco Control since being appointed last month by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
The job, Goode said, is of particular interest to him since he is a retailer with partnerships in grocery stores and meat packing operations. Also, he said he has three children and advocates prohibition of tobacco to minors. The new job, he said, will not result in too many changes in his personal life. He will continue to live in the Vilonia area, maintain his business responsibilities and, hopefully, serve the citizens of Faulkner County, he said.
"You will still see me in Vilonia at the schools, at ballgames at all the other events," Goode said. "It might be some long hours for me sometimes but I’m used to long hours."
Some have questioned the legalities, Goode said, regarding him serving at both the county and state level. If it is determined to be a conflict, Goode said he will step down as JP but, otherwise, he will continue to serve in both capacities.
"I think I’ve done a good job," Goode said. "I love serving the people of Faulkner County and Vilonia. I will wait and see what is determined that I need to do."
Created in 1997, Goode said the state agency’s primary mission and responsibility is to regulate the sale of tobacco and enforce all laws pertaining to tobacco. The agency regulates tobacco manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers.
"Our job is to serve these businesses by helping them be aware of all the laws governing tobacco sales in Arkansas and to serve the citizens of our state in the process," Goode explained. An important role the agency plays is enforcing the tobacco sales to minor prohibition. Currently, Arkansas’ sale to minor violation rate is one of the lowest in the nation, Goode added.
With a salary of $95,050.80, Goode is replacing Elmer J.R. Thomas.