Residents of Pine Bluff won a court ruling Wednesday when a circuit judge rejected a bid to block the Nov. 6 mayoral election and said the election will go forward as scheduled.
In effect, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Jay Moody assigned to hear the issue after local judges recused, held that registered voters of Pine Bluff have a right to select the city’s chief executive officer and not depend on a conflict in state statutes.
Incumbent Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr. sought to halt the election and serve an additional two years in office without a mandate from the body politic – the people of the community.
With eight challengers to Redus’ bid for a third four-year term, the people of the city can decide who they want to hold office. They have plenty of choices.
Redus had maintained in a lawsuit filed in September that because the population of the city had dropped below 50,000 in the last federal census, the proper time to hold a mayoral election would be in 2014, and that he should be allowed to serve another two years after his present term expires at the end of this year.
If there is a conflict in the election schedules, our local delegation to the General Assembly should move to clarify the statutes when the lawmakers begin meeting in January.
We missed a great opportunity with a judge available for Wednesday’s hearing. It would have been helpful to the voters to put the nine candidates under oath and ask them about the role of government or their basic philosophy of what government should be. Most candidates have never had to think about the role of government or their philosophy. It is more than power and deals and passing laws.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Capt. Bernard “The Bloodhound” Adams deserves a break after spending more than 35 years chasing down suspects, scofflaws and fugitives. He earned the nickname for his uncanny ability to find people who didn’t want to be found.
Adams officially retired and received a send-off from the sheriff’s department, county and city officials and members of the community that few individuals can hope for. As Sheriff Gerald Robinson noted, Adams has been a “legend in our community.”
The retirement reception praise came from many individuals who have admired Adams over the years. J. Thomas May, chairman and chief executive officer for Simmons First National Corp., noted Adams always “led by example and always gave credit to his team.”
Deputy U.S. Marshal Mike Koberlein, who has worked with Adams for six years, recalled he was advised when assigned to Pine Bluff that “if I wanted to get into fugitive investigation, grab Bernard Adams’ shirttails and don’t let go.”
Maj. Tyra Tyler, assistant administrator at the W.C. “Dub” Brassell Adult Detention Center, credited Adams for being able to identify fugitives by sight.
“Capt. Adams is the only person I know that can drive down the street, stay in his lane, and turn around and point to a person a block back and say ‘he’s got a warrant’,” Tyler said.
Both County Judge Mike Holcomb and Pine Bluff Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr. proclaimed Monday as “Captain Bernard C. Adams Day” in Jefferson County and Pine Bluff. Adams also received a plaque from Gov. Mike Beebe’s office and a Certificate of Appreciation from both chambers of the Arkansas General Assembly.
To simply say Adams had an extensive career in fugitive apprehension would be an understatement. He had a gift for knowing when someone had broken the law. We all are a bit safer because he put his life on the line daily to remove the bad men and women from the streets and towns in Jefferson County. And even though he is now retired, we know that his talents live on in those who were lucky enough to work around him.