To provide a single source of cooperative support and information for all counties and county and district officials through the provisions of general research, public education programs, and conducting seminars for county governments in Arkansas.
The Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC) supports and promotes the idea that all elected officials must have the opportunity to act together in order to solve mutual problems as a unified group. To further this goal, the AAC is committed to providing a single source of cooperative support and information for all counties and county and district officials. The overall purpose of the AAC is to work for the improvement of county government in the state of Arkansas. The association accomplishes this purpose by providing legislative representation, on-site assistance, general research, training, various publications and conferences to assist county officials in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of their office.
The AAC was founded in 1968. The first president was A.A. "Shug" Banks, Mississippi County judge. Membership started out very slowly, but AAC's membership of Arkansas counties has been 100 percent since 1988. Dues are voluntary and are based on 1 percent of the county's General Turnback.
The association originally rented office space across the street from the state Capitol with four full-time employees. In 1979, AAC bought property down the street, one block from the Capitol, and built a 3,600-square-foot office building. Construction and renovation began in 1996 to expand the present headquarters, and now the association occupies more than 13,000 square feet, with meeting space for 250. The association has 23 full-time employees.
In 1985, AAC added a Workers' Compensation Trust for counties, and in 1986 it added a Risk Management Fund. Both programs are popular with the counties and completely self-funded and self-administered. AAC also endorses a drug testing program for county Commercial Drivers' License holders and a Health and Hospitalization Program for county employees.
The executive director of AAC is Chris Villines. Mr. Villines came to us from Saline County, where he served as county collector for almost six terms and served on the AAC board of directors for six of those years. He was appointed executive director in July 2010.