In a move that can only be called extraordinary, Jim Estes, Chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, had a letter published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this week, extolling the virtues of County Judge, Joseph Wood.

I guess Estes had to take to the keyboard since Wood himself doesn’t seem inclined to explain his actions either to the press or to the public-at-large, particularly when it comes to his removing experienced county employees and replacing them with failed political office seekers.


Estes seemed especially aggrieved that one of the four whom Wood had removed (two others have resigned) “has decided to create a distraction for Judge Wood.”

Well, just what did he think was going to happen? That folks would just roll over and play dead when he steamrolled them out of a job?


In addition, some of the JPs are not very comfortable with the judge’s hiring practices, specifically his choice of Sharon Lloyd as the Washington County grant administrator. Lloyd’s husband, Roddy, serves on the Quorum Court, and may well be required to vote on her grant choices.

And, oh, oops, the Washington County Employee Handbook bars former elected officials from working for the county for a year after they leave office. County Attorney Brian Lester claims that the handbook rules don’t apply in this instance since she was appointed to the JP position, and not actually elected, which seems to be splitting political hairs with a particularly sharp knife.


Ms. Lloyd, a former Springdale JP, saw her term end on December 31.

And yet again, Judge Wood did not return a call from a reporter about the subject.

Rough sailing ahead for Washington County. I wonder how many letters Jim Estes may be called upon to write in the next couple of years.



Today’s Soundtrack

Today’s blog was brought to you by the CD “Night Tide” by the Mystic Moods Orchestra, featuring music from A Summer Place, Days of Wine and Roses, Shane and Nevada Smith.

Shane! Nevada Smith!

Like I was going to pass up buying this one . . .


Now on YouTube: Sarah Marsh

An interview I conducted sometime back with Fayetteville city council member Sarah Marsh.

“On the Air with Richard S. Drake” celebrates 26 years on the air in 2017.



Quote of the Day

One is always at home in one’s past. – Vladimir Nabokov