RANDOLPH COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - After over a decade of service, a Northeast Arkansas county judge will put down the gavel soon.
Randolph County Judge David Jansen told Region 8 News in mid-March he plans to retire at the end of April.
Jansen, who was elected in 2004, said retiring isn’t something he wants to do, but he says he’s working on borrowed time.
“I hate to do it,” Jansen said. “I love my job, but it’s time. I’ve got cancer.”
Jansen been fighting cancer since 2018.
“I just can’t do what I used to do,” Jansen said. “It’s not fair to the county, so it’s time to go to the house.”
As a judge, Jansen led Randolph County through difficult times, including three major floods.
“I’m on my 14th disaster, federal disaster,” Jansen said. “We have done our best to flood-proof our buildings over there, from the health department building to the, we have a building over there that Black River Area Development uses to cook the senior meals.”
While he’s proud of his accomplishments, he’s most proud of the people he worked with to make the county what it is today.
“Anybody can build a building and make it look nice,” Jansen said. “But you’ve got to have the right people, the right board to operate that, the right administrator.”
As he looks back over the years, full of highs and lows, what would he tell himself the first day he stepped into his office in 2004?
“Go to work every day, do the best you can, and go home,” Jansen said.
Those wanting to fill the vacancy have until March 26 to apply for the position.
Jansen’s term runs until December of 2022. The quorum court is expected to decide on who will serve the rest of his term within the next month.
Jansen said he plans to stick around until the new judge gets up to speed with the position.