The June 13 meeting of the Nevada Quorum Court became the latest edition of “what is old is new again” as former Justice Harold Vines and money issues appeared again like the ghosts of Christmas past.

The June 13 meeting of the Nevada Quorum Court became the latest edition of “what is old is new again” as former Justice Harold Vines and money issues appeared again like the ghosts of Christmas past.
Vines, who had not been seen much since his departure from the Quorum Court last year, was back to question operations at the County Jail, even as he had once upon a time voted for its construction.
“How much is the jail costing us (the citizens)?” Vines asked, reportedly to anyone who would listen.
County Judge Mark Glass answered the call, saying that the jail was “holding its own.”
Vines repeated a claim he has often made in the past, saying that he believed the jail was being financed by “speeding tickets.”
Vines, who also once served as Nevada County Sheriff, said that he believed deputies have more important things to do than run down speeders.
After Vines hollered at current Sheriff Danny Martin about failure to serve warrants, he was called to order by the Quorum Court.
Vines said, said, “I can see where this is going,” and left the meeting.
In other Nevada County news:
There was another discussion of money issues as Justice George Smith, among others, again questioned the necessity of some spending and asked if essential business of the county could be funded.
The county’s computer system, for example, was cited as being close to “20 years old,” according to Justice Willie Wilson, and, the wide consensus was that a new system is needed.
The county received two bids for computer systems, one from Texarkana IT at approximately $57,500, and a second by Apprentice Information Systems ($131,500). It was pointed out that the bids were not comparable because one bid was for hardware only and the other not only included hardware but a complete upgrade of software plus offsite storage, and maintenance backup.
Justice Ryan Harvey said that it is imperative for offsite storage of data in case of a fire or natural disaster. One JP noted the lower bid was “nothing but a bandaid, where the county needs major surgery on its computer system.”
Despite the difference in the bids, no JP supported the Texarkana IT bid, especially after it was noted that more than 50 Arkansas counties used the Apprentice firm.
The county will pay $50,000 in the fourth quarter for installation and $5,000 a month for hardware maintenance for 2018 and 2019.
The Nevada County Justices had more questions about an “emergency” purchase of a 2016 pickup truck for the sheriff’s department. Several months ago, a department vehicle was wrecked in a collision with some cows. The insurance company for the owner of the cows paid the county $14,000.
The pickup with police package, the last 2016 model available, according to Martin, was available for $22,000. But Wilson and Justice Herbert Coleman expressed dismay at the motion to finance the vehicle through a local bank without all the information available. There was a discussion about the insurance company dealing directly with the bank and bypassing County Treasurer Susie Key. Key was adamant that all monies had to pass through her office to be in compliance with state law.
Justice Bob Cummings made the motion to finance the truck at a local bank and figure out the insurance fund issue later because the price was “exceptional.”  Wilson and Coleman voted against the purchase citing they needed more information. No JP disagreed but several cited if the county waited, the county would pay much more for a similar vehicle.
Back in the May meeting, the Quorum Court had unanimously passed a motion that no equipment should be purchased without an information sheet detailing the reason for the purchase, method of financing or account from which the expense will be charged and any other information that could assist the quorum court members in making informed decisions.
Smith, who made the original motion, said, “This is exactly the situation we were talking about last month. We have to be better stewards of the taxpayers’ money; we have to make decisions based on pertinent information.”
Smith said it’s up to to “the County Judge and appropriate county officials to provide JPs with the information so we can make proper decisions.” He requested, again, that any proposal for equipment be sent to the JP members in advance of the meeting for study and provide time to ask questions.
Smith also requested that Prosecuting Attorney Christi McQueen research what is required for the Quorum Court to make a donation to the fund-raising efforts for the purchase of land for the preservation of three Civil War battlefields in Nevada County.
Noting that ‘tourism development is money in the bank for local merchants,’ Smith said the interpretative plan for five battlefields in Nevada and Clark Counties could bring in Civil War buffs from throughout the nation.”
The Quorum Court also unanimously passed an ordinance to appropriate funds for raises for the sheriff’s deputies of $600 each; the deputies had been receiving the pay increase since the first of the year but the official appropriation had not been presented to the court.
In a short special session held Thursday morning, the Nevada County Quorum Court considered an ordinance to purchase a Sheriff department's vehicle.
Five members of the court unanimously approved to purchase a 2016 Dodge Ram pickup and pay for it out of an existing departmental account rather than financing it.
Previously, the Quorum Court had approved to finance the vehicle for three years, but Key informed Glass that sufficient funds existed to pay for the vehicle put of existing funds.