City & County

Talk gets tense over livestream ordinance in Clark County

By JOEL PHELPS | The Arkadelphian

Justice Michael Ankton wants that livestream service for quorum court meetings, and he wants the county judge to handle it.

County Judge Troy Tucker said he ain’t doing it.

Ankton (D-Arkadelphia) proposed an ordinance at the beginning of 2023 establishing a service that would record and livestream meetings of the quorum court. The court approved the ordinance in May. There has not yet been a meeting recorded; Monday’s meeting marked the court’s second since the ordinance was passed.

Ankton brought up the discussion toward the end of an otherwise non-confrontational two-hour quorum court meeting. He seemed to be under the impression that the county judge, as the executive of county government, was tasked with finding someone to take on the livestream.

County Judge Troy Tucker
Michael Ankton

The two argued about whose job it is to launch the service.

“I’m not taking on anymore responsibilities,” Tucker said. “I’m not gonna do it. If y’all wanna do it or you wanna appoint somebody, that’s perfectly fine. But I’m not coming up here to set up a livestream.”

Ankton replied that he didn’t expect Tucker to personally set up or man the equipment, but rather to “carry out the ordinance.” The judge argued that the ordinance didn’t direct him — or anyone else — to take any actions.

Asked by the judge if he had anyone in mind to take charge of the livestream service, Ankton said he assumed Tucker was working on it and that Tucker himself would “take on the initiative.”

“It’s your ordinance, sir,” Tucker said, reiterating that there is “nothing in the ordinance indicating I was going to be handling that.”

The two would agree that a committee would be appropriate to determine the next step of providing the service. Justices volunteering to be part of that committee were Ankton, Tracy Ellis Drake, Zach Bledsoe and Jenna Scott.

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