Wednesday, June 06, 2007

County government reform?

This one will probably not dominate barbershop and beer bar conversation all over the state, but there is a little item proposed as a constitutional amendment that caught my eye. The Attorney General has certified a proposal to lengthen the terms of county officials from two to four years.

In Pulaski County, Buddy Villines has had the job forever. I know that many of you know similar situations. It is a fairly responsible job. There was a time when running the road and bridge department was an open invitation to self-enrichment, but I am sure nothing like that goes on these days.

The County Judge is, at least indirectly, responsible for the county jail, the county courts and sheriff’s department. Just wait for something to go wrong and watch who catches the dickens. Villines had to take the heat for a former underling facing criminal charges just the other day.

The job doesn’t look like much fun, and neither do most of those other thankless courthouse positions. Four year terms sound like a good idea, though I am not sure this one will inspire a spirited debate. The times they are a changin’. Next thing, the do-gooders will want to limit each county to just one courthouse.

(Broadcast June 6. 2007)

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