Commission meeting hosts many farewells

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Ashley Travis

Angela Jones

County Budget Administrator Ashley Travis reported her resignation to the County Commission on Monday night, relating that she is leaving county employment to take a job with the state. Travis’ resignation was only one of many farewells issued in uncharacteristically brief meeting.

Following the outcome of the Benton County General Election on Aug. 4, County Mayor Brett Lashlee, County Trustee Sherry Beasley, and County Commissioners Dayna Ferguson (Dist. 2), Norman Frazier (Dist. 3), Angie Hern (Dist. 1), Rachelle Hill (Dist. 5), Ronnie Hopper (Dist. 6), and Ward Plant (Dist. 1) all will be ending their terms of service with the county effective Aug. 31.

“Thank you for letting me come before you tonight,” Travis said. “I have resigned, effective Sept. 9, to pursue a new opportunity with the state. My decision was made prior to the election and has nothing to do with the outcome. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served Benton County and am proud of the progress we have made in the Benton County Mayor’s office during my 9 years of service there.”

Lashlee praised Travis after she spoke, saying, “There is no question that Ms. Travis’s oversight has had a very positive impact on the mayor’s office and the finances of Benton County. I appreciate her for her commitment to Benton County and wish her well in her new position.”

Beasley also was the subject of recognition by Lashlee, as he noted her 24 years of service as County Trustee that will end with her retirement this month. 

“I will not read this lengthy proclamation I have issued regarding Mrs. Beasley’s many years of dedicated service to the county, but I ask you to include it in the public record of tonight’s meeting. We certainly all appreciate what Mrs. Beasley has done for Benton County,” Lashlee said. 

At the start of the meeting, out-going Commissioners Frazier and Ferguson also made remarks regarding their periods of service to the county. Lashlee praised the six commissioners who have completed their terms of service and encouraged all to leave with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

“Walk away knowing that your service to Benton County was very impactful, that you did exactly what you were charged to do, and that’s to oversee the best interest and the financial standing of this county,” Lashlee said. “As for me, I applaud you all. Thank you very much.” 

Following the various farewells, commissioners executed the remainder of night’s agenda in less than 30 minutes. The report of public utilities and notary candidates were approved, and the following resolutions were passed:

  • Amend the Highway Department’s projected mineral severance tax revenue to $163,635 for the FY23 budget. 
  • Budget $923.08 from the Drug Task Force and $4,302.66 of July revenues to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. 
  • Budget $4,500 from the City of Camden to the library budget. 
  • Budget $12 interest from the Ona W. Florence bequest to Project Help with BCES. 
  • Budget $8,154 received from the state to the schools’ budget. 
  • Transfer $50 from the juvenile services supervisor into the Juvenile Court youth service officer’s budget.
  • Appropriate $9,984.21 from the litigation tax reserve and budget to county buildings for the purchase of double ovens at the jail. 
  • Appropriate $24,841.85 in senior citizens donations accumulated since 2008 from the unassigned fund balance (UFB) and restrict to a committed reserve account for their use. 
  • Appropriate $12,125.95 from the school’s UFB and budget to vocational education equipment. 

For anyone unable to attend the meeting, it may be viewed on the Benton County Facebook page at

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