Unpaid election costs by the city of Cabot took the front seat of the Lonoke County Quorum court meeting on June 15. Jerry Cole was absent from the meeting.


According to Lonoke County Election commissioner, Jerry Shepard, Cabot was not billed for its election portion four years, but the commission has is working to correct the issue and collect the unpaid funds. Cabot’s election portion due is $45,492.58 from the 2016 general and run off election, $32, 918.54 for the 2016 general election and 12,574.04 for the 2016 run off. Cabot has also been billed $20, 541.34 for the 2014 election. Election billing is handled by the election commission.


Cabot Mayor Bill Cypert said, the cost discrepancy of the elections are perplexing. As an example, he said the county’s portion in 2010 election was $106,395 with 20,000 people voting and the county’s portion of $108,000 for 2016 election was nearly the same with 4,000 less voters.


“Something is not clicking or making sense with the numbers,” Cypert said.


Cypert said Cabot has hired a lawyer to look into the matter and decide if the city is indeed legally responsible to pay the bills and will do so, if it they are responsible.


“Cabot is going to do the honorable thing,” Cypert said. “We are simply questioning these cost that don’t make sense.”


According to Shepard, the cost of an election is determined by the number of votes cast, size of the ballot and the type of election held.


In other business, in an eight motion and vote, the Lonoke County Quorum Court passed ordinance 2017-02, to repeal ordinance 2016-01. By passing handbook manual repeal, elected officials will once again have control of salary budgets as previous handled prior to the county’s new salary schedule.


A motion was made to suspend the rules and place an ordinance on the table, that was not on the agenda. Bob Morris, Patty Knox, Bill Ryker, Linda Waddell, Tate House, Bobby Gilliam, Claude Irvin, Henry Lang and Brent Conon voted to suspend the rules. Ralph Brown voted against suspending the rules because document to be placed on the table does not have any guidelines in place to replace the repealed ordinance. The motion passed 9-1


In a second motion, to table further discussion on the ordinance to repeal ordinance 2016-01. Brown and Waddell voted to table discussion. Morris, Knox, Ryker, House, Gilliam, Irvin, Lang and Conon voted against tabling the discussion. The motion failed 8-2


In a third motion, the court voted to put ordinance 2017-02, an ordinance repealing ordinance 2016-01, on the first reading. Brown and Waddell voted against putting the ordinance on the first reading. Morris, Knox, Ryker, House, Gilliam, Irvin, Lang and Conon voted for the first reading. The motion passed 8-2.


In the fourth motion, the court voted to place the ordinance back on the first reading for an amendment. Brown and Waddell voted against putting the ordinance back on the first reading. Morris, Knox, Ryker, House, Gilliam, Irvin, Lang and Conon voted in favor. The motion passed 8-2.


In the fifth motion, the court voted to amend the ordinance to read the starting salary of $21,000 in lieu of $18,500. Brown voted against the motion. Waddell, Morris, Knox, Ryker, House, Gilliam, Irvin, Lang and Conon voted in favor. The motion passed 9-1.


In the sixth motion, the court voted suspend the rules and to place the ordinance on the second reading, title only. Brown voted against the motion. Waddell, Morris, Knox, Ryker, House, Gilliam, Irvin, Lang and Conon voted in favor. The motion passed 9-1.


In the seventh the court voted suspend the rules and to place the ordinance on the third reading, title only. Brown voted against the motion. Waddell, Morris, Knox, Ryker, House, Gilliam, Irvin, Lang and Conon voted in favor. The motion passed 9-1.


In an eighth and final motion, the court voted to pass ordinance 2017-02, an ordinance repealing ordinance 2016-01. Brown voted against the motion. Waddell, Morris, Knox, Ryker, House, Gilliam, Irvin, Lang and Conon voted in favor. The ordinance passed 9-1.


Also during the meeting the court passed a resolution, declaring vacancy for District 2 Justice of the Peace, due to JP Barry “BJ Weathers moving out of his district.


The next Lonoke County Quorum Court meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. July 20 in the Annex Building.