• Comment

JPs recommend Sotallaro for vacant court seat

Posted: January 4, 2013 - 11:37am

The first action taken by the 2013 Quorum Court was a repeat of an action in 2012 — declaring the seat formerly held by Mark Bailey, who resigned in October, vacant.

Bailey resigned just weeks before the General Election following a discrepancy into an address he claimed on his filing papers. Bailey still received more votes than his opponent but told Faulkner County Judge Preston Scroggin he would not serve.

The court formally declared Bailey’s seat vacant, which will be filled by Gov. Mike Beebe. The court also made a recommendation for the governor to appoint Jack Sotallaro to Bailey’s seat.

Justice of the Peace Steve Goode addressed Scroggin about filling the spot, saying that “the governor would be inclined to appoint someone if we recommended that person with an overwhelming majority.”

Goode said that Sotallaro had visited with 10 of the current 12 JPs prior to Thursday night’s quorum court meeting and had their signatures of endorsement. He was planning on getting the final two before the paperwork was sent to the governor.

The court had originally declared Bailey’s seat in District 8 vacant following his resignation, but since the governor did not fill the vacancy before or after the election, the court was required to declare the vacancy a second time.

Bailey listed 701 Reedy Road #5 in Conway as his address, which is in River Drive Mobile Home Park. The address listed, however, does not have a home of any kind on the property.

“The residency requirements under which I previously thought qualified me prior to completing the registration to run for another term in 2012 were incorrect,” Bailey said. “I was made aware of the correct residency requirements Tuesday afternoon. This information was provided to me [from] the Faulkner County Election Commission and the Faulkner County Republican Party leadership.”

Sotallaro ran unsuccessfully for the Faulkner County Circuit Clerk position, which was won by incumbent Rhonda Wharton.

  • Comment
Comments (15) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
New Kid in Town
1039
Points
New Kid in Town 01/04/13 - 12:17 pm
5
2
A bad stance to take

Why would the court recommend someone just for pandering to them before a meeting? How about the other fine people who have applied for this position but didn't know to lobby the court as a body? Also, what about Michael Yoder who lawfully fulfilled all of requirements to be on the ballot? I think strong consideration should be given to him if he wants it.

InMyHumbleOpinion
411
Points
InMyHumbleOpinion 01/04/13 - 12:26 pm
5
1
I would agree

I have no opinion pro or con regarding Mr Sotallaro. However, Mr Yoder ran unopposed since Mr Bailey removed his name from the ballot. It only makes sense that Mr Yoder would fill the position.

Richard Duke
1701
Points
Richard Duke 01/04/13 - 03:55 pm
1
0
He didn't run unopposed

He still ran against Mark Bailey on the ballot, although Bailey had publicly said he would not serve if elected. I am not sure if enough people were aware of the situation when they cast their ballots since Mr. Bailey still received more votes. Some could make the argument that they did not want want Mr. Yoder to fill the spot so they voted against him. I'm not willing to make that argument, but some others might.

357
1871
Points
357 01/04/13 - 02:28 pm
1
0
It does not necessarily make

It does not necessarily make sense to fill the position with Mr. Yoder, he lost the race. The majority of voters in District 8 voted for Mr. Yoder's opponent even though his opponent withdrew. All the voters would have had to do was elect Mr. Yoder and it would have been a done deal . . . that didn't happen.

I talked my JP today and asked him about this issue. He said Mr. Yoder has not solicited the court for their support, in fact, he said Mr. Sotallaro is the only person who came forward and asked for a court recommendation. He said he'd also heard through the grapevine that Conway attorney Frank Shaw might be interested, but Mr. Shaw did not seek support from the JP's either.

Jack Sotallaro
4
Points
Jack Sotallaro 01/04/13 - 04:35 pm
2
2
New Kid - I filed an

New Kid - I filed an application with the governor's office as is required by law when requesting an appointment. Part of the instruction from the governor's office is to collect recommendations and forward them as part of the record for when the application is reviewed.

I then approached each person who would be a Justice of the Peace when this vacancy was declared and asked them for their support. Ten of the twelve said yes. I also asked people in the community who know me to write recommendations.

I made my intentions known to the whole Quorum Court in the December meeting. Knowing that several of the Justices on the court don't always agree with my beliefs, I find it hard to figure our how I pandered to them, unless asking an honest question and accepting the answer is pandering.

Mr. Yoder lost his election (as did I). In his case the victor chose to decline the office. The law required a vacancy be declared, which it was. I agree with you, consideration should be given to Mr. Yoder if he wants it - the same consideration any other applicant gets.

In My Humble Opinion - Mr. Bailey was not allowed to remove his name from the ballot under law. If he had been allowed to remove his name Mr. Yoder would have had an uncontested race, which he did not. A rather large number of voters in JP8 chose to vote against Mr. Yoder by voting for Mr. Bailey.

There may be a whole lot of people who have applied to be considered for JP8. I seem to be the only one who has made that request public. One more thing - the letter of recommendation sent to the governor and to the county judge is signed by both Republicans and Democrats.

New Kid in Town
1039
Points
New Kid in Town 01/06/13 - 12:25 am
1
1
I did not accuse you of

I did not accuse you of wrongdoing. I think it was distasteful and yet brilliant for you to seek the county's approval.

On the contrary, my disdain is toward the court. I too talked to several court members. Before a special meeting, the purpose of which was to set meeting dates, they were asked to sign an endorsement. Perhaps later they could find out who else was interested and endorse someone else, like signing petitions for independent candidates. Then, during the course of the meeting, someone suspends the rules (whether it was done by proper motion or not) to move for a unified recommendation. It happened quickly without many being aware of the motion on the floor.

Further, I do not know if Mr. Yoder seeks the appointment or not. It is my understanding that the appointee cannot run for reelection to the seat. I have read Mr. Yoder's vita. He would be an asset to any governmental body as would Mr. Shaw.

I do hope that anyone interested in the position takes a page from your book and asks the court at its next regularly scheduled meeting to endorse him or her.

Zweck
2643
Points
Zweck 01/04/13 - 06:04 pm
2
0
Jack

From what I know, I look forward to seeing you serve.

regular_joe
139
Points
regular_joe 01/05/13 - 03:03 pm
3
1
still seems wrong

None of these were elected by the people.

SWIBC
1902
Points
SWIBC 01/05/13 - 07:25 pm
3
1
funny how one of the main

funny how one of the main figures of the local tea party and republican party is turning into a political crony, the very thing he has railed against going on 3 years. Big deal that you went and glad handed with your 3 buddies already on the court. Sick of the local republicans right now. They knew Bailey never should have been running and then claim ignorance at the end right before the election, while still pushing Bailey for the exact scenario to happen. Heck if an amateur like me can see Bailey did not live the district for 2 years, then the local party also knew, but of course we all know Hiland will not go after one of his own for election fraud.
Mr Yoder more qualified than many already on the court and will be some sanity to the court, unlike Mr Sotalero who only likes to hear himself talk, just attend a council meeting and listen to him try and get attention.

Steve Goode
36
Points
Steve Goode 01/06/13 - 04:38 am
2
0
Quorum Court Vacancy

1. No motion was made or rules suspended to bring this before the court. For the second time in just a few months former JP Bailey had to resign, his resignation must come before the court and we must declare a vacancy. In October when Mr. Bailey resigned the first time, our county attorney Allen Dodson told the court that the governor’s office would potentially look favorable to a candidate being endorsed by the entire court or a majority of the court. Again this was not a motion; it was only brought up at the end of our meeting when the county judge asked if there was anything else. I asked our county attorney to include the endorsements of Jack, in with the resignation of Mr. Bailey when it was sent to the governor's office.
2. Jack did seek all of our endorsements, he knew what Allen had stated at the October meeting, because he attends almost all of our meetings, was it clever, brilliant, or just plain being on top of the situation? I am not sure, maybe all of the above.
3. I am not sure which, if any jps knew that Mr. Bailey did not live in his district, I did not know. Mr. Bailey was a good court member, for the two terms that I was on the court with him; however he is no longer able to serve, so as a court we will move forward, with whomever the Governor appoints, I hope that it is Jack, but if it is Mr. Yoder, Mr. Shaw or some other qualified candidate we will do our best to continue to serve Faulkner County,

Back to Top