County judge, JPs say goodbye during final regular session

Jefferson County Judge Mike Holcomb and two members of the Jefferson County Quorum Court said their good-byes Monday night following the last official meeting of the county’s legislative body in 2012.

Holcomb chose not to run for a fourth term, instead running for and winning a seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

“I’ve been here six years and it’s not nearly as scary now as it was when I first walked in,” said Holcomb, who also served four years as a member of the quorum court before being elected judge.

“We’ve faced a number of challenges in the six years and this has been the toughest time to try and operate Jefferson County since the Great Depression because of the state of the economy,” Holcomb said.

He went on to list a number of things his administration has been responsible for, including the new district court building, opening the new adult jail, which freed up money the county had formerly spent paying jails in other parts of the state to hold prisoners, and improvements to other facilities.

“I’ve appreciated your support, your honesty and the transparency you’ve shown as we’ve tried to serve the people of Jefferson County,” Holcomb said.

Justice of the Peace Alfred Carroll ran unsuccessfully for county judge and for a seat on the Pine Bluff City Council.

He said he learned a lot and hoped in some small way he was able to make a difference.

“I’m going to miss the interaction and miss what I consider to be a fine group of individuals,” Carroll said.

Also saying goodbye was the Rev. H.O. Gray, who was defeated in his bid for another term during the May Democratic Party primary.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve and I pray that my service was beneficial to those who elected me,” Gray said.

In other business, a $2,500 appropriation transferring funds from the salaries and benefits line of County Buildings to Maintenance and Operation was approved, as was a $15,062 appropriation from the Circuit Court Automation Fund to Circuit Court Automation. No new money was needed because the courts assess a $5 per month fee for everyone placed on probation.

Also approved was an appropriation ordinance transferring $64,000 from the salaries and benefits account of the Assessor’s Office to Maintenance and Operation to pay for maintenance on office software.

The quorum court will meet in special session next Monday to approve the 2013 budget.