Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 17, 1974 · Page 5
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 5

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 17, 1974
Page 5
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Page 5 article text (OCR) Arkaiuas TIMES, Thur»., Oct. 17, 1974 rAYlTTIVILLI, AHKAN1A* Amendment 56 Would Revise County Government EDITOR'S NOTE: This Is the third in a scries of ' articles about the proposed constitutional amendments that Arkansas voters will adopt or reject in the general election / : Nov. 5. Uy 111 LI, SIMMONS , LITTLE ROCK (AP) -- Un. dcr proposed Amendment 50, ·fees collected by onicials of the '·county government would go ,'into the county's general fund ,for public use. It often doesn't work that way under the existing system. ' The proposed amendment, iene of four to be considered by voters in the general election Nov. S, also would: '" --Abolish the county office "salary limit of $35,000 in Article ·:19, Section 23 of the Con- -stiliitipn. ·^ --Give the quorum court, each county's legislative body,' authority to set salaries for county officials. --Restrict the size of the quo- nunrum court to legislate in nine members nor more than 15. -Give counties a degree of "home rule" by allowing the q u o r u m court t o legislate in coujity affairs not expressly reserved to the General Assembly. --Give counties authority to make contracts for cooperation with any political subdivision for any "public purpose." One of the chief selling points of the backers of Amendment 56 is that it would abolish the "fee system," which is the system under which- fees are charged by county officials for various functions they perform. The collection of the f e e s would not be abolished, but the way officials can use those fees would be abolished. Under the existing system, the fees collected aren't always available for public use. In many counties, the . fees are cl by the o f f i c i a l to pay salaries and bonuses to the employ- es of the office, including some employes who are relatives of the official. While the Constitution has a section limiting the official's salary'to $5,000 per year, it has no section limiting the amount the official can pay to his em- ployes, nor docs it limit the number of employes he may choose to have, nor does it forbid him from hiring relatives as employes. Randall Mathis of Arka- dclphia, Clark County judge and a member of the committee that drafted proposed Amendment 56, said the propos- al would "put a stop to the practice.of county officials pay- ng exorbitant year-end bonuses members of their families in order to use up the excess fees." This, he said, would make those funds available for public use. The public treasury probably would show no surplus, however, because officials* salaries likely would go up as a result of the Amendment 56 provisions abolishing the salary limit in the Constitution and giving quorum courts salary-setting authority. The quorum courts also would be empowered to deter mine the number of persons on a cqujily official's payroll and the salaries they would be paid. The county judge would have authority under Amendment 56 to exercise veto power over a quorum court decision, but It, jy three-firths vole, could override a veto. The provisions changing Ihe si/.e of the quorum court would not take effect until two years afler adoption of the amendment. That would allow time for county hoards of election commissioners to draw districts from which quorum court members would be elected in 1976. Quorum courts, now composed of all the justices of the peace in a county, would then be composed of candidates who had won elections from such districts and would be expected to represent the interests of people living in those districts. Amendment 56 supporters say this would make the quorum court more responsive to the wishes of the people. Some quprum courts now lumber about 400 members, so arge a .group that it is unwieldy as a legislative body, friends of Ihe proposed amendment contend. The "home rule" provisions of Amendment 56 would give Ihe quorum court authority to legislate only in county affairs, bul would allow that authority to be exercised in a broader range of areas than now. The Constitution permits counties now to legislate only in areas expressly granted to them. The Amendment 56 would allow them to legislate except in areas expressly denied to them. However, the same provision would not permit a county to declare any act to be a felony. Eventually, county quorum courts could recommend that certain county offices be abolished. If the people approved the recommendation in an elec- ion, then the structure of the county government could be changed. Hay ward Ails ATLANTA (AP) -- Physi cians for, Academy Award-win' ning actress S u s a n Hayward say she is seriously ill hut won't say what's wrong will: her. Miss Hayward, who re en lered Ihe hospital 11 days ago has asked that her ailment re main undisclosed, neurosurgeon George Tindall said Wedncs day. She underwent a biopsy Emory University Hospital last July but the results of the lest lor cancer were never released. MARTHA TO GET i $1,000 A WEEK ,i '» NEW YORK (API - Martha Mitchell has won temporary alimony of $1,000 a week, o n « third of the amount she had asked for from her eslrangqd husband, former U.S. Ally. Gen. John N. Mitchell. State Supreme Court Justice Manuel Goez, noting Wednesday that Mitchell's incorije after fixed expenses is $2,744.40 a week, scaled down the alimTb- ny figure and also cut Mrs. Mitchell's request for lawyers fees to $3,500. She had asked for $35,0(10 for the lawyers handling her preliminary suit for separation on abandonment charges. At an Oct. 8 hearing, lawyers for Mitchell had said Mrs. Mitchell was living in surroundings lhat rivalled the Taj Mahal. Her lawyers said her financial condition was dire. i Mitchell is on trial in Washington in the Watergate cover- up case. . , TOPMOST PHARMACIES LOOK FOR YOUR TOPMOST PHARMACY LISTED BELOW Friendly service-special attention to prescription needs. i Gillette * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ! hCORNSILK :L,, UPRESSED POWDER X; Sinutab . For relief of .'sinus headache ! and congestion 12 TABLETS I 73* Sinutab «*cf o · j ^sr*° ^jsjj. VlCKS* Sinex NASAL SPRAY 96c Mfg. 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