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Quorum Court

By Mark Keith, 01/2/19 10:14 AM

The Hempstead County Quorum Court met Wednesday January 2nd for their first meeting of 2019. The meeting was the first to be presided over by new County Judge Jerry Crane.
The meeting opened with the JP’s looking at two job changes. Judge Crane asked that the head of the road department be designated as “Superintendent of the Road Department” and that the Courthouse Maintenance position be designated “Maintenance Supervisor”. The road position would come with a $3,000 increase in pay from $33,000 yo $36,000 annually. The maintenance position would increase $5,000 to $30,000. The JP’s would also approve another maintenance position for the Courthouse but this would not be funded nor filled immediately. Judge Crane also noted the Road Superintendent would serve as a trainer. He noted the county has equipment in the road department that no one knows how to use.The Judge promised there will be much new training for the road department. Also it was noted there hasn’t been a road superintendent since Tim Blue left the county to work for the city of Hope. Also, Judge Crane says he plans to create a committee to advise him on the roads. As far as the Courthouse Maintenance superintendent, that person will be in charge of coordinating efforts at the new Courthouse as well as the old courthouse. Judge Crane said the old courthouse will need lots of upkeep after the county moves until the county decides what to do with the building. There was also discussion on asking the library to fund part of the Maintenance position as that person oversees library maintenance. The JP’S discussed attending a library board meeting to ask for help on the maintenance position. The motion to fund the new positions with two JP’s voting “no”. The JP’s that voted against the new positions, David Clayton and Jay Lathrop, said they weren’t against the position but were concerned about where the funding would come for the library maintenance.
Judge Crane pledged to work with everyone for the betterment of the county. Assessor Kim Smith welcomed all the new JP”s and officials and invited them to visit with the county officials anytime. JP David Clayton said he had talked to a member of the the Lafayette County Quorum Court about helping with the expenses on the van to take veterans to Little Rock to the veterans hospital. JP Olen Dorman discussed the van, the service, where it stopped,and the need for drivers. The meeting then adjourned.