Local Dem ticket settled: Candidate list includes new contender for county sheriff

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 ~ Updated 1:33 PM

BERRYVILLE -- The Committee for the Democratic Party of Carroll County has a slew of incumbents and one newcomer ready for the upcoming election.

"I just feel that with my background and law enforcement experiencee, I could add a lot to the office," said candidate for county sheriff Randy Mayfield at the committee's meeting last Saturday.

Mayfield was the only candidate for the Democrats at the meeting that was not an incumbent. His experience includes five years at the Harrison Police Department, nearly 13 years for the Berryville Police, one year of police service in Benton County and four years military service in the Navy, he said.

"I have done the time and gotten the education from law enforcement," he continued. "[If elected], I would change the priorities of the Sheriff's Office. I would be on the highway less and in the county more. I just want to stress that I want to represent everybody in the county."

Sam Barr is running for again for his seat as county judge.

"I just feel blessed and honored to be able to work for the people of Carroll County for the last five years," Barr said. "I hope with their support I can continue to work for them to do some jobs that might be unfinished."

He mentioned a project that he is involved in at Butler Creek. The project is trying to find a way to abate reoccurring flood damage, he said. He also mentioned that the county just received a check for approximately $172,000 from FEMA for disaster relief, and he intends to mention it at the next meeting of the Quorum Court.

Ramona Wilson, circuit clerk, recorder and incumbent, said that she was not sure if this would be her last term or not. She added that her office has completed the state mandated conversion for court context program.

"It's where all of our court cases are entered into a computer system and can be displayed online," she said.

She added that she is waiting on the state for the permission to go online, and she has no control over when they will grant it.

County Clerk Jamie Correia was in attendance and shared that she will be running again as well.

"I would just like to thank the people for keeping me in office," Correia said. "It has been a privilege, and I enjoy my job very much. I am here to serve the whole county."

Currently, her office is working toward digitizing all of their documents as well. Most of the work in the Berryville office is complete, but there is still the Eureka Springs office, Correia said. She added that if anyone has any questions about her office or how she can help them, they are welcome to call or come by during office hours.

Also running for reelection is County Assessor JoAnn Harris. Her office took on more responsibilities this year after assuming the roles for mapping, development and 911 coordination.

"I think our office has done a really good job," she said about her new responsibilities. "We have taken over a new duty and are doing a really well, but it is a learning process, of course. I am happy with what we have done so far; granted, it has only been two months. But we really have a grasp on it, which surprised me."

Harris said she would like to see another fly-over to assess the county properties, and if reelected, she would work to see it done so that everyone is paying a fair share.

Kay Phillips has been the tax collector since 1987, and she said she hopes to continue her work.

"It has been quite a period of change, and I have been blessed to be a part of that change," Phillips said. "Since I have been there, we went from doing everything manually to being computerized and having our information out on websites. Now people can go online and pay their taxes, and that is something that I had not even anticipated."

Phillips maintained that keeping up with the changes in policies and technology is daunting, and had she known how much change there would be in her position, she might not have ever started. She continued to say that she enjoys her job, works hard at staying current and cannot believe how far the county has come.

Carroll County Treasurer Cindy Collins will be running as an incumbent in the upcoming November elections, too. She has been in her position since 1993 and is working through getting her office's documents online as well.

"We have a state-mandated new coding system for all types of revenues and expenditures," Collins said. "We are still working on smoothing that out and we are going to new operating system by the end of the year with the treasurer's program. We have had to make several updates."

Collins has worked with the county clerk to get the warrant check process streamlined and added that the county is lucky to have as many local banks as it does to help out.

"I just want [the people] to know that I know that they are my boss," she explained. "And I am trying to do the best I can for them, and that I know the money that I handle is the county's -- and we just need to make the best use of it."

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