The Crawford County Personnel Committee signed off on three new positions on Monday.
The committee approved an additional position for the county circuit clerk's office and two new positions for the Sheriff's Office during its meeting Monday.
In a written proposal for the new full-time circuit clerk's office position, called a deputy court clerk, Crawford County Circuit Clerk Sharon L. Blount-Baker said the circuit clerk's office currently employs 12 people. This includes four recording division deputies, five court deputy clerks, one file clerk and two administrators, who are the elected circuit clerk and the chief deputy clerk. The office has operated at these personnel levels since 2008.
However, Blount-Baker said since the addition of the circuit clerk's office's last new employee position, court filings have increased from 2,607 in 2011 to 4,351 in 2018. In addition, Crawford County was approved for a third circuit judge beginning July 1 during the current Arkansas legislative session.
"The addition of this judge will require an additional deputy clerk to be present in court," Blount-Baker said. "This coupled with the dramatic increase in court filings will overwhelm our staff and requires the addition of one employee. This position will be exclusively a court employee and therefore, must be paid from county general."
Arkansas Code requires that counties fund court operations, Blount-Baker said.
Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown said he needs two full-time bailiff positions because of the addition of the third circuit court.
Funding for the deputy court clerk position for the remainder of the year beginning June 8 — $24,562.44 to be taken from the general fund — was approved during the Crawford County Budget Committee meeting Monday. The Crawford County Quorum Court approved the position in an ordinance to appropriate additional funds and approve additional expenditures to the 2019 budget during a meeting that took place afterward.