Holcomb promises smooth transition for new county judge


Current Jefferson County Judge Mike Holcomb has promised a smooth transition for his successor, County Judge-elect Dutch King.

Speaking during the regular monthly meeting of the Quorum Court Tuesday, Holcomb, who was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives last week, said he and King have already made plans and King will be attending budget hearings by committees of the court currently set for Nov. 27.

Holcomb will be cleaning out his office a few days early so King can move in and get settled, he said.

“It’s been an honor to serve but it was time to move on,” Holcomb said.

King, who has been attending meetings for several months before he was elected county judge last week, said he was looking forward to working with county officials and moving the county forward.

King will be sworn in Jan. 1.

Justice of the Peace Ted Harden, who was defeated by King, said he and King had talked.

“And there are no hard feelings on my part,” Harden said. “We were opponents and he is the county judge and I will remain a JP.”

In addition to running for county judge, Harden also ran unopposed for Justice of the Peace in District 12 of the quorum court.

County Treasurer Elizabeth Rinchuso said October was the big month for tax collections and the county collected just over $13 million, which she said was “up a little bit from last year.”

Rinchuso also directed remarks at Holcomb, who will be going to the legislature in January.

“We’ve got to do something about those sales tax rebates,” she said. “Jefferson County has lost $1,053,000 so far this year. It’s really bad for the whole county and it affects the cities as well.”

Rinchuso was talking about a program created by the Arkansas Legislature that rebates sales taxes paid by companies and industries on equipment and other items. Because of the way the legislation is written, counties are not told what businesses or industries are receiving the rebates.

“We need to exert some pressure (on the legislature),” she said. “If not completely taking it (the tax rebates) away, at least lessen it.”

During the meeting, a $3,803.85 supplemental appropriation for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department was approved without dissent. The money was earmarked for the purchase of the new K-9 and to buy a bullet proof vest for the dog. No County General money was involved.

Also approved was an ordinance transferring $17,266.72 from the Circuit Court Juvenile Division to the General Fund, then to the Sixth Division of Circuit Court (juvenile division) to buy fuel, oil and lubricants, office supplies and other items.

A resolution reappointing Anna Marie Jacks to a five-year term on the Pine Bluff-Jefferson County Library Board was also approved.