The Faulkner County Quorum Court debated the need of a 13th Justice of the Peace for the final two months of the year during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night at the courthouse.
After declaring a vacancy on the court following Mark Bailey’s resignation last month, the court considered if his spot needed to be filled for what would be two scheduled meetings in 2012. Bailey is still on the ballot in the General Election opposed by Michael Yoder.
County Judge Preston Scroggin pointed out the resolution to declare the vacancy was required by law, but County Attorney Alan Dodson said he was not sure how quick Gov. Mike Beebe would be in filling the spot. Although anyone could recommend a qualified replacement, Dodson said his talk with Beebe’s office led him to believe that the governor would move before the next meeting if the court were able to recommend a replacement as a unified body.
The question whether a replacement would be needed for the final two meetings was brought up by JP Johnnie Wells, who said that the final two months could produce three meetings instead of two with the talk of the 2013 budget.
"We are talking about what would happen if [Bailey] wins," Wells said. "But let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. We are going to have important votes on the budget. What if we have a split vote?"
Bailey resigned his position following a discrepancy into an address he claimed on his filing papers. His resignation, however, came after ballots had been prepared, and he still appears on the election ballot. If Bailey wins the election, however, he would not be able to serve on the court, and the court would have to declare a vacancy again.