Joe Flanagan Announces For County Judge

I am a Franklin County native whose family has resided in Franklin County for almost 150 years. I graduated from Charleston High School in 1969 and the University of Arkansas in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science with a minor in Business Administration.

After 35 years Franklin County will have a new county judge. Many people feel that the county government needs leadership that will bring transparency and accountability to the judge’s office. The county judge is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Franklin County. All county funds go through this office as the judge’s office is responsible for the entirety of the county budgets final form. Coordinating among the various counties, departments, roads, sheriff, assessor, county clerk and others takes management skills that necessitates a business background. These are skills that 40 years of running my own private business, as well as my term on the Quorum Court and other Boards of Directors have taught me.

Many want more accountability and transparency within the road department where the judge’s office has little oversight. This can only happen if the officeholder is willing to include the Quorum Court members approval of expenditures of county funds on the purchase or lease of materials and equipment. Implementation of this will be one of my goals.

The judge’s office must provide leadership in not only this area but also in creating a more favorable environment for expanding opportunities for businesses to move to Franklin County. This can be done by creating property tax incentives for job creation by business expansion for those now in Franklin County and enticing new business to locate here. This can be achieved with input from both county and city governments within the county to create a county website which promotes the great people and assets of our area. These assets include not only our people and beautiful countryside but also the Arkansas River, the interstate highway system, and great schools. Our high schools and the Arkansas Tech University Campus in Ozark both provide academic and technical educational opportunities for furthering education as well as workforce training.

I have been blessed in my life far beyond what I will ever deserve. I have seen America from sea to sea, Canada to Mexico, and we have the blessing of living in the best of America. My business career was exactly what I dreamed of growing up and more. Now is a time in my life when I want to give back to the community of Franklin County by providing new direction and leadership in county government. Good government occurs when the citizenry takes an active role and interest in its government. When complacency is the norm, government is neither efficient, responsive, or effective.

I will not be on the May Primary ballot as I am running as an Independent, but I encourage everyone to vote in the in the party primary of your choice. I’ll see you in November.