McDaniel Okays Language for Proposed 4-Year Terms for County Officials

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The terms of elected county officials would be lengthened from two years to four years under a proposed constitutional amendment approved for signature-seeking circulation.

The Arkansas attorney general's office yesterday approved the language of the ballot title on the proposal submitted by Marvin Cossey of the Sidney community in Sharp County.  That means Cossey can begin gathering signatures to place it on the November 2008 ballot.  To place a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot, Cossey would have to gather signatures equal to ten percent of the ballots cast in last year's gubernatorial election, or about 78,000.

The proposal would ask voters to approve 4-year terms for county judges, sheriffs, county and circuit clerks, assessors, tax collectors, county treasurers, county surveyors, coroners and justices of the peace.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel had rejected an earlier version of the proposed ballot title as too vague.  In April, McDaniel said the proposal omitted the offices of coroner and surveyor but the title referred to all county elected officials.

Cossey rewrote the proposal to include those officials and deleted references to constables after McDaniel noted that constables are technically appointed by townships instead of counties.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)