Drew County Judge Robert Akin has announced that he will seek a fourth term in the 2018 general election
Akin, an Independent, was first elected in November of 2012.
“Since becoming judge, I have taken a proactive approach to many of the issues facing the county,” Akin said. “This includes working to eliminate mold in our 1930s-era courthouse, along with pursuing grants to update its wiring and HVAC systems. I also installed sidewalks around the entire courthouse to make it safer for our patrons and create better access to entrances, and have taken steps to beautify the courthouse lawn, planting rosebushes around the front circular drive and flowerbeds on either side of the front steps. I have also implemented a policy of clearing right-of-ways on county roads to provide good vision at crossroads and cut down on accidents, and I have a plan to pave or chip-and-seal more county roads.”
Sanitation has also been a focus for Akin, shown by the addition of a scale at the county landfill which is used to weigh trash to be dumped, ensuring fair rates for all county residents; and the purchase of two new trash trucks to bring greater efficiency to the county’s waste collection program.
He also was instrumental to the installation of the countywide severe weather warning system, and is currently working to locate a regional jail in Southeast Arkansas. Having a regional jail, where costs would be shared by more than one county, as well as the state, will result in a tremendous savings of money that now goes to house and feed inmates. Operating the detention facility is among the county’s largest expenses, and the savings realized from participation in a multi-county jail could make a tremendous impact on the county’s budget.
Akin believes that the county should operate more like a business, and that its leaders should make every effort to use the people’s money wisely. Since he has been in office, Akin noted, he has been able to negotiate the price of employee health insurance down from $516 per month to $457. The county has 88 employees, and this has resulted in an annual savings of approximately $60,000.
“I don’t mind a hands-on approach if that’s what it takes,” he said. “Not only for things like negotiating costs, but also for determining the best equipment or materials to use on a particular project. Sometimes the only way to find out what works and what doesn’t is to get out on the roads or in the ditches and see for yourself.”
Akin currently serves on the executive board of the Arkansas County Judges Association and is vice president of both the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District and regional solid waste management boards. He is also a member of the board of directors of the New Beginnings substance abuse rehabilitation center.
Before becoming county judge, Akin worked in the construction and logistics industries. He was elected to the Monticello City Council in 2000 and served nearly a full term there before a move outside the city limits required him to give up his seat.
“I have worked hard and tried to do my best for the residents of Drew County, and to be fair to everyone,” said Akin. “I have gotten to know a lot of you, and have learned a lot about meeting the challenges the county faces. I hope the voters will give me a chance to continue the good things we have started and to keep the county moving forward. I want to ask everyone for their vote and support in the 2018 election.”
A Drew County native, Akin is the son of George and Pat Akin and the grandson of the late Dr. A.K. and Louise Busby and Cecil and Christine Akin. He and his wife, Cindy, a math facilitator at Monticello Elementary School, have been married for 36 years. They have two daughters, Britni, who lives in Colorado and has a 13 year-old son, Boston; and Kinsley, who will be getting married in June.