The Faulkner County Quorum Court approved an ordinance that created a new position in the County Judge’s Office during its regular meeting Tuesday.
The new position will have three separate jobs: an American Recuse Plan fund (ARP) administrator, an insurance administrator and a roads contract and procurement specialist.
The ARP administrator will make sure that the ARP funds are used and that the reporting requirements for these funds from the federal government are met.
The insurance administrator will ensure that Faulkner County’s health insurance plan is properly executed as Faulkner County self-insures its health insurance program for Faulkner County employees.
The roads contract and procurement specialist will make sure that Faulkner County’s road system is property maintained.
Half of this new position’s salary will be paid for using ARP funding while the other half will be split using two different funds.
This position was approved by a unanimous vote from the Quorum Court and will be terminated on Dec. 31, 2026, when the ARP funding will be over.
The Quorum Court also discussed a resolution that would encourage the Arkansas Legislature to pass and for Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders to sign into law proposal House Bill 1048.
House Bill 1048 would amend the powers of different county Quorum Courts and would allow them to provide their own organization and management of their affairs without limitations, create Quorum Court committees and determine the manner of appointment to the committees.
Justice John Allison, who sponsored this resolution, said supporting this bill is all about the separation of powers.
“I don’t do this to try to take any authority away from Judge Dodson,” he said. “I do this in the spirit of there may be a time when someone sits in that seat and they use their authority to silence voices on the court. The Quorum Court is the voice of the people in Faulkner County and the ability to silence that should not rest in the hands of one person.”
However, not everyone on the Quorum Court was in support of this bill.
“It’s a moot issue to try to change something that is already established by statute,” Justice Jerry Boyer said. “I oppose this resolution.”
The resolution was eventually passed with an eight vote majority. Justices Boyer, Maree Coats, Nancy Graddy and Jake Moss voted against while Justice Tyler Pearson voted present on the issues due to the fact that he says he hasn’t been able to fully hear both sides of the argument.
Jordan Wooodson can be reached at email@example.com
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