Crawford County Quorum Court officials discussed personnel issues during their Monday night meetings.
During their personnel committee meeting Monday night, Crawford County justices of the peace discussed a request for a new full-time secretary position for the prosecuting attorney’s office.
Prosecuting Marc McCune addressed JPs about his request, stating that he needs a new secretary to fulfill the duties left behind by a secretary he moved to help full time with the new requirement of e-filing.
JP Mary Blount asked McCune why the e-filing requires more time, when she thought it was supposed to make things easier. McCune responded that for his office it means more information to enter in the system, and often it must be entered twice.
In addition to e-filing, McCune told JPs his office is experiencing an increased workload, having already received more federal cases this year than all of 2015.
“All of that requires more e-filing, more time,” McCune said. “Everything we do now requires more time.”
While JPs were sympathetic to the needs of the prosecutor’s office, Blount pointed out that the county did not have the money in the county general fund to pay for a new full time employee.
Salary with benefits for the secretary position is $43,909.68. According to Blount, the county general fund had $47,828.14 at the time of Monday’s meeting.
Crawford County Judge John Hall suggested the item be brought forward during the upcoming budget talks.
“As part of the budget process, everyone will come forward with their proposals and we can look at all of them and decide what we think is best or which one needs it the most,” Hall said.
After determining that McCune would not need the position until Jan. 1, JPs tabled the request to be brought forward again during the budget process.
Budget and quorum court meetings followed the personnel meeting on Monday night. The Crawford County Quorum Court heard from JP Lloyd Cole on the Association of Arkansas Counties annual meeting, which he attended last month.
According to Cole, who has represented Crawford County at the annual meeting for several years, the main part of the discussion this year was overcrowding of Arkansas jails.
Sebastian County reported that with a capacity of 320, its jail now holds 480 inmates, with 30 percent of the population suffering from mental health issues.
“I was so relieved during the meeting to know we’re going to have the new jail, so we won’t be part of that overcrowding issue that’s plaguing the rest of the state,” Cole said.
Crawford County’s new $20 million detention center that is under construction is expected to be complete in November.
Cole said county representatives also discussed Ballot Issue 1 in the Nov. 8 election, which if passed will change county elected official’s terms from two years to four years, except for JPs, which will remain at two years.