Tom Lish has announced his bid for a third term as justice of the peace for Saline County District 13.
Lish is seeking the nomination of the Saline County Republican Party in the May preferential primary election.
Lish stated, "While serving as JP, we have continued the tradition of being one of two counties in Arkansas not having a County General Sales Tax. I will continue to vote against any General Sales Tax.
"I will continue to keep my options open for specific taxes that have a stated purpose and an expiration date, e.g. jails, public facilities, etc. Any taxes for which I might vote will go to the county residents for approval or rejection," he said.
"Saline County does not need additional general revenues so long as the Quorum Court spends money only on the basic functions of government: crime prevention and enforcement, health and welfare, safety, county roads, and other services mandated by the Arkansas Constitution and Legislature
"I will oppose any “county earmarks” that do not benefit the majority of the county as a whole," he said.
As examples of unneeded earmark, he said: "Suppose you have a district in the county that consistently has the highest voter turnout for countywide elections. Should money be spent to provide early voting for such district for two weeks prior to the General Election? I think not.
"If there are only a minute number of county services that cannot be accessed by telephone or Internet, do we need to provide remote offices? I think not."
He noted that the Quorum Court asked for a $5 voluntary tax about three years ago to provide free weather alert radios to each household to replace obsolete warning sirens. "Each household in this district was offered a weather radio simply by going to a facility in their district or to the County OEM office and picking them up. More than a 1,500 households did so, and if not they can contact me and I will tell them how to get one.
"Recently there has been a push to get an alarm installed in the Village. Is this necessary? I think not. It seems as though most people in the district agree.
"My campaign is not based on change," he said. "It is based on no change to the concept of not wasting money and providing only needed services and ordinances."
He cited an example of ordinances he feels are not needed. "About three years ago I was approached by the POA Board and General Manager to petition the Quorum Court to pass three ordinances that pertained only to Hot Springs Village: a special noise ordinance, a special property upkeep ordinance and a firearm discharge ordinance. Current POA bylaws and state statutes already dealt with these issues ... but the village representatives agreed to enforce the ordinances with HSVPD personnel and send the citations to the county courts."
Three years later there has not been one citation issued in accordance with these ordinances, he said.
"The county ordinances continue in effect. ... I think my government philosophy – less is better — is more important than my pedigree."
Lish is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps with the rank of captain after 20-plus years as a Mustang officer. He served multiple tours in Viet Nam, Japan, Thailand, and various bases in the United States.
After retiring from the Marine Corps, Lish worked 23 years with one of the nation's largest electronic retailers in positions taht included mid- to upper-level management and International Manager for company operations in more than 40 countries.
Lish and his wife, Jo, live in Hot Springs Village. He is a graduate of Saddleback College in California and Tarrant College in Texas and pursued further studies at the University of Texas in Arlington. He majored in business administration and minored in political science and English. The Lish family attends Presbyterian and Baptist churches in Paron, Crows Station and Hot Springs Village.