BENTONVILLE -- Benton County's Quorum Court should start to settle after the appointment of Jim Furgason to the last vacant position.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has had to name replacements for two seats on the 15-member court since the beginning of the year after two incumbent justices of the peace moved out of their districts. Three new members were elected during the general election in November.
Furgason, 72, of Gentry was named to the District 12 seat. He replaces Adriane Carr of Siloam Springs, whose last day on the court was Feb. 28. Carr moved to McPherson, Kan. District 12 includes parts of Siloam Springs, Gentry and some of western Benton County.
County Judge Barry Moehring introduced Furgason at Tuesday's Finance Committee meeting and said he likely would be sworn in at next week's Committee of the Whole meeting.
Furgason served on the Gentry City Council for 18 years and didn't seek re-election in 2018. He retired from McKee Foods in Gentry in 2014 after working for the company for more than 30 years. Furgason served eight years in the Air Force.
Furgason sat in the audience during Tuesday's meeting. Justices of the peace discussed how to obtain a new court building after residents March 12 voted down a one-eighth percent sales tax increase to pay for a $30 million courthouse.
"It's vitally important that our county has a new courthouse," he said. "The facilities are inadequate."
Furgason said he also is interested in long-range planning and the Sheriff's Office.
"I believe everything rises and falls with leadership," Furgason said. "I am going to get in there and see how we function."
Jerry Snow of Bella Vista was sworn in as the District 7 justice of the peace at the Finance Committee meeting Feb.12. Snow was appointed by Hutchinson because Joel Jones, who was re-elected in November, moved out of the district. District 7 includes eastern Bella Vista and the area southeast toward Bentonville. The move was for personal reasons, Jones said.
Furgason and Snow will serve until 2020 and aren't eligible for re-election because they were appointed, Dana Caler with the County Clerk's Office said.
The three justices of the peace who won election in November are Debra Hobbs in District 3, Carrie Perrien Smith in District 5 and Dustin Todd in District 11.
Justices of the peace serve two-year terms. Quorum Court members are paid $237 for any Committee of the Whole and Quorum Court meetings they attend and $148 for any Finance Committee meetings they attend, according to comptroller Brenda Guenther.
NW News on 04/11/2019
Print Headline: District 12 gets new justice of the peace