"To administer all county activities in the most professional manner. To make decisions that not only improve the county and help the people of this county, but also in accordance with county and state law."
Sam L. Barr - County Judge
The chief executive officer for county government in Arkansas is the county judge. As chief executive, the judge authorizes and approves the disbursement of all appropriated county funds, operates the system of county roads, administers ordinances enacted by the quorum court, has custody of county property, accepts grants from federal, state, public and private sources, hires county employees except those persons employed by other elected officials of the county, and presides over the quorum court without a vote, but with the power of veto. (ACA 14-14-1101 - 1103)
All powers not vested in the county judge as the chief executive officer of the county shall continue to be exercised and administered by the county court, over which the county judge shall preside. The county court, in fact, is the county judge sitting in a judicial role. The county court of each county has exclusive original jurisdiction in all matters relating to:
- County Taxes: Including real and personal ad valorem taxes collected by county government. The county court's authority in this area includes jurisdiction over the assessment of property, equalization of assessments on appeal, tax levies, tax collections, and the distribution of tax proceeds.
- Paupers: The court's jurisdiction includes all county administrative actions affecting the conduct of human services programs serving indigent residents of the county where such services are financed in total or in part by county funds.
- Jurisdiction in each other case that may be necessary to the internal improvement and local concerns of the respective counties including county financial activities and works of general public utility or advantage designed to promote intercommunication, trade and commerce, transportation of persons and property, or the development of natural resources, which are not otherwise transferred to the county judges to be administered in an executive capacity.
In addition to the duties of the county court, the county judge is responsible for coordinating the day-to-day intergovernmental relations between the various state and federal agencies operating at the county level. The judge must also apply for all federal and state assistance moneys for which the county is eligible, and appoints the members to all administrative and advisory boards in the county, some of which have to be confirmed by the quorum court.
(Arkansas Association of Counties Handbook)