County judge will retire at end of month
Carroll County will soon have a new chief executive for the first time in more than a decade with the retirement of longtime County Judge Sam Barr.
Barr, who has served as county judge since 2009 and is currently in his sixth term in office, announced in a Dec. 28 letter to the county’s 11 justices of the peace and County Clerk Connie Doss that he will resign from his position effective Jan. 31.
“I have enjoyed my time serving the people of Carroll County, but, have chosen to take my retirement and spend time with my family and friends,” Barr writes.
Barr said Thursday, Dec. 30, that he would have further comments on his retirement at a later time.
Barr was first elected in November 2008, defeating then-incumbent Richard Williams. He was re-elected to two-year terms in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 before being elected to a four-year term in 2018.
Doss said the quorum court will have to declare a vacancy in the judge’s office and appoint someone to serve the remainder of Barr’s term.
Barr, 83, has battled health issues for the past few years. District 1 Justice of the Peace Jack Deaton, one of the county’s longest-serving quorum court members, said Barr’s retirement did not come as a surprise to him.
“I’ve worked with him for many years and I have all the admiration in the world for him,” Deaton said. “Unfortunately, health gets in the way. I feel bad because he’s worked really hard over the years. The last couple of years, he’s had so many health issues that I admire him for even trying to make it back to work. The county will miss him, but it’s time.”
Barr’s retirement announcement came a little more than a week after the death of Carroll County tax collector Kay Phillips-Brown. Brown, who had served as tax collector since 1987, died Dec. 20.
The quorum court held a special meeting on Thursday, Dec. 30, to declare a vacancy in the collector’s position.
The court will hold another special meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5. The agenda for that meeting includes a proposed resolution appointing Vicky Hopper to serve out Phillips-Brown’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2022.
Wednesday’s meeting will be held in the courtroom of the Eastern District Courthouse in Berryville unless the courtroom is in use for circuit court proceedings. In that event, the meeting will be held in the county clerk’s office, also in the Eastern District Courthouse.
The quorum court is expected to declare a vacancy in the county judge’s seat and appoint someone to serve the remainder of Barr’s term at its next regular meeting, scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24, at Southern Heights Baptist Church in Berryville.