I am concerned that Sebastian County will not be represented in Washington, D.C. at the White House Conference with Arkansas County Leaders. Let me explain. The White House has issued an invitation to all JPs in the state of Arkansas to an event in Washington, designed to help develop a working relationship between the White House and county leaders in Arkansas. Normally, the county judge pays for the expenses of the JPs who can attend. However, the currently serving county judge will not pay for these expenses. While quite a lot of money, about $1,500 or so per person, for a JP to pay, there is at least $23,000 in the judge's budget to cover just these sort of expenses.

Since the judge had decided not to pay for these expenses this year, this could mean that Sebastian County may have no representation at the event. This would mean our county would miss out on a great deal of information, ideas and contacts that would help to move us forward.

I am hopeful that the judge will decide to fund the trip for our JPs, but I felt that the citizens of Sebastian County, whom he represents, should be aware of the issue.