The County Judge is the head of the executive branch of county government. In other states this is sometimes referred to as a "County Executive", "County Comissioner" or informally as the "County Boss."
The County Judge has a large collection of duties and responsibilites to the county. The County Judge is responsible for 911 mapping, Department of Emergency Management, Road Department, Information Technology, all county facilities, courthouse maintenance and custodial, workman’s comp, county building insurance, county employee health insurance, all county grants and contracts, and the county budget.
Judge Dennis Gilstrap is serving his first term as County Judge. However, he has been involved with County Government for over 15 years. He started as part time Emergency Management Director and after 9-11, he became full time.
Served on many boards as Emergency Management Director: County 911 board, Search & Rescue, Medical Corp., and President of the Arkansas Association of Emergency Managers for a 2-year term.
The County Judge is the Chief Operating Officer of the county and has no judicial authority. Jacob Howell is the attorney for the county. He can be reached at:
Updated the Road Department and equipment
Upgraded the IT Infrastructure
Added 35% to the County Jail
Built the Division II courtroom and Juvenile department facility
In the process of building a new county highway department building and office
Has recertified the leevies
Created a new road hard surfacing program for our county roads
15 miles of hard surface in 2010
20 miles of hard surface scheduled in 2011.
Overlaying 5 miles of chip and seal roads with asphalt
Will widen, level and refurbish old chip and seal roads
Have done partnership projects on Old Uniontown Road and 40th Street with the City of Van Buren and a project on Collum Lane with the City of Alma.