Thursday, October 11, 2018
BENTONVILLE -- Benton County voters will choose between continuity and change when they make their selection for justice of the peace in District 6.
The district includes northeastern parts of Rogers and the area around Pea Ridge. Justices of the peace serve two-year terms and are paid $230 for each Quorum Court and Committee of the Whole meeting and $144 for each meeting of a committee of which they are a member.
Residency: Rogers and District 6 for 35 years
Employment: Owner, Adams Excavations
Education: Graduated Neosho High School, Neosho, Mo.
Political Experience: Three terms on Benton County Quorum Court
Residency: Bentonville and District 6 for three years
Employment: National underwriter for Stewart Title.
Education: Law degree from Washburn University in Topeka, Kan.; undergraduate degree in Sociology from Kansas State University.
Political Experience: None.
Pat Adams, a three-term Republican Party incumbent, is seeking a fourth term and says there are unfinished projects he wants to see through to completion.
"I'm pretty well pleased with what we've accomplished," Adams said. "It's a good Quorum Court and we've done a good job."
Brie Madden, his Democratic Party challenger, says she wants to represent a changing population in District 6 and in Benton County.
"I have no problem advocating for and speaking up for what my constituents need," Madden said. "I want to be visible and vocal."
Madden said she wants people to be more aware of county government.
"I haven't knocked on a single door where people know who their current JPs are," she said.
Adams said he's learned how county government works and how a justice of the peace can make positive changes.
"I support what's been done to bring our Road Department into the 21st century," Adams said. "I pushed for four years to get a county engineer on board. Now we can get these roads and bridges done right, instead of every time it rains and floods having to go back in and do the same work again.
Both candidates said they support plans for a $30 million courts building.
Madden, a lawyer, said she understands the need to have a larger, more centralized courts facility.
"It's very important to our county as we grow," she said. "I think the Quorum Court has weighed all the options and I understand the importance of this expansion and having everything centralized."
Adams said he made his arguments during the Quorum Court's discussions of the project. He wanted a larger building and a different funding method, relying on a 1 percent sales tax that would pay for the project in a matter of months instead of years. He said he will support the proposed plan.
"That's the only way I see right now to get this thing done and I want to see the courts facility move forward. I'll promote it wholeheartedly," he said.
Both candidates said they are interested in working on the county's budget process and overseeing the growth of the bigger expenditures, including the Road Department, Sheriff's Office and jail and the rural ambulance service.
"One of my goals is for the county to get out ahead of this expansion and growth," Madden said. "I'm going to push for infrastructure expansion. The growth is going to happen whether we plan for it or not."
Early voting begins Oct. 22 and the election is Nov. 6.
NW News on 10/10/2018
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