Charlie Reece (Republican) stated right off the bat he would not be disrespectful to any citizen who comes to him with a problem or a question, nor would he bypass the wishes of the Quorum Court. He promised to speak honestly and provide leadership needed to run the county. He said he would provide a maintenance schedule for everyone to see regarding repair of county roads, and emphasized he would promote Carroll County Airport as an integral part of the economic development of the county.
Incumbent Judge Sam Barr (Democrat) said during his five terms as county judge, he has worked with the Federal Emergency Management Administration to save the county money, and has focused on improving county roads.
The men were asked what they would do to bring more revenue to the county, and Reece said he would cut costs and work more efficiently instead of raising taxes. Barr said the Quorum Court determines the county budget, and he works with what they give him. He has run a conservative office during his ten years as judge.
They were also asked what they would do about the large number families in the low-income category and improving the prospect of better paying jobs and affordable housing.
Barr said the county watches for opportunities to improve residents’ situations, but the county is short on affordable housing and unfortunately this is a low pay grade area. The county judge cannot do much about those things. “If I could change it, I would.” He said he has maintained the roads which is a benefit to citizens.
Reece said affordable housing is a critical need, and he has been working on that as mayor of Green Forest. He mentioned that creating an atmosphere for job growth is an important part of the judge’s job, as the judge can be proactive and encourage businesses to want to relocate to Carroll County.