Area officials sworn in

From The Jonesboro Sun, article & photograph by George Jared.

JONESBORO — Northeast Arkansans elected in the May primaries or the November general election took the final step toward their new jobs on Saturday — the oath of office.

New Craighead County Judge Ed Hill was sworn in at 9:35 a.m. by Circuit Judge Larry Boling inside the packed Craighead County Courthouse courtroom.

“Thank you for attending what I call a celebration of the election process,” Boling said to the crowd prior to the swearing-in ceremonies. “You’ve been elected to serve in troubling times. Much is going to be expected of you.”

A downtrodden economy and other troubles make this one of the most difficult election cycles in recent memory, Boling said.

“Our county is going through difficult times,” he said.

Hill, a Democrat, replaces outgoing County Judge Dale Haas, who opted not to run for another term. Hill worked for the Craighead County Road Department for 33 years, including nine as the department superintendent. He took the oath of office with his family by his side.

Sheriff Jack McCann was also sworn in to his seventh term in office. The Democrat previously said that tackling the county’s drug problem is the most priority his department will have to deal with.

County Treasurer Russell Patton III, Circuit Clerk Ann Hudson, Assessor Eddie Thomas, Collector Janiece Robbins and Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington also took their oaths of office. Others taking oaths on Saturday included county surveyor Terry Bare, members of the Craighead Quorum Court, several mayors, constables and sheriff’s deputies.

County Clerk Nancy Nelms was the first to take the oath, then she assisted Boling with the swearing-in ceremonies. A complete list of those who took the oath of office was not available because of some minor paperwork problems, Nelms said.

Boling said administering oaths of office is one of the perks of his job. He also administered oaths in Poinsett County.

“This is an honor … and a privilege,” he said.