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Washington County Update - September 10, 2023

Here’s everything you need to know to keep our local government transparent…


How can the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC) run without someone taking the lead?


Judge Deakins fired the last coordinator, and while I am not in disagreement with his decision to do that, I am in disagreement with his refusal to refill that position. Everyone on the CJCC has a full time job. They are serving on the committee in voluntary positions and they need help. They are finally moving forward with implementing recommendations from the Criminal Justice Assessment Study of 2020. This is a very pivotal time for the CJCC and our county. We’ve hit record high incarceration numbers in our jail recently. Something has to change!


Our CJCC needs a well-trained, qualified coordinator. Change will only come when we address and really tackle the underlying causes of our high incarceration rate, including: poverty, over-incrimination, and drug addiction.


This committee holds the keys to change!


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Did you know? A budget is more than just a series of numbers on a page; it’s an embodiment of our values…


The Finance & Budget Committee met Tuesday, 9/5/23. We reviewed budgets for the following officials: Assessor Russell Hill; Circuit Court Judges Martin, Beaumont, Lindsay, Storey-Bryan, Zimmerman and Warren and Public Defender Denny Hyslip. Read more about what I learned during this meeting here. You can also watch the full meeting here.


Would you like to learn more about these budgets? You can review them all here — need help understanding them? Give me a call!


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“I never believe I don’t have the power to do things” - The Honorable Christi Beaumont said at the CJCC meeting. I have deemed this the quote of the year!


This meeting was not posted on the county calendar and it was not recorded, but I did a livestream on my Facebook page. With sincere apologies for the poor film quality and all the movement and jerking around of the camera. Watch the video here.



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The best way to have your voice heard is to VOTE. Did you know there is a special election for Fayetteville City Council Member Ward 1 Position 1? Here’s everything you need to know…


I learned a lot at the Washington County Election Commission meeting Thursday, 9/7/23. Election Commissioner Jennifer Price estimates a voter turnout of approximately 2,000 for the special election. There are 13,641 registered voters in Ward 1. Every vote always counts, but in a special election like this, literally the outcome could be determined by just a few votes. In Danville, Arkansas (that’s down in Yell County) the mayor’s race last year was won by just one vote!


➦ Want to see the ballot for the November 14, 2023 special election? Check it out here.

Here’s a map of the early voting and election day voting sites. One change is Ridgeview Church is not available for this election.

➦ Watch the meeting here.


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Where we need YOUR HELP this week!


WASHINGTON COUNTY FINANCE & BUDGET COMMITTEE, Tuesday, 9/12 @ 6:00 PM, WC Courthouse, Quorum Courtroom. IN PERSON ONLY. This meeting should be live streamed here.

  1. I don’t have the agenda for this meeting as of this writing, but will post on my website when it’s available.

  2. You can study the entire budget proposals for 2024 here. Ongoing budget information such as this has never been made available to the public. I’m sharing it as it should be shared. I’d appreciate any comments or insights you want to share. Budgets are moral documents.

  3. There will be a twelve (12) minute public comment time at the end of the meeting.


WASHINGTON COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD, Thursday, 9/14 @ 3:30 PM, ONLINE ONLY (no physical location published). Watch the meeting here. As of today no agenda has been published.


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We NEED Your Help!

  • ATTEND the Finance & Budget meeting!

  • Talk to Judge Deakins and ask him why he’s not interested in pursuing the data analyst and other assistance (coordinator) for the CJCC. The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has offered to assist the county in implementing pretrial services AT NO CHARGE TO THE COUNTY! We must take advantage of their knowledge and skill and we need a coordinator and data analyst in order to be successful.

  • Call Judge Deakins, Sheriff Cantrell (he’s on the CJCC) and as many Justices of the Peace as you can. Get to know them. Meet them for coffee. Tell them you want a real pretrial services program in Washington County.

  • Share this Newsletters with your friends and neighbors!

I welcome your questions and comments, also suggestions you have for any county related business. You can reach me at ejcoger@gmail.com or text or call 479-306-9994.


Here’s the link to email addresses and telephone numbers for JPs, County Judge, and others.

See you at the courthouse!


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