Judge didn’t prepare a speech but came up with great things to say after Court surprised him with this!
Saline County Judge Jeff Arey wasn’t expecting members of the Quorum Court to read a resolution specifically penned for celebrating his career. Arey held his retirement party at 111 North Main event center on Monday, December 12th, 2022.
Justice of the Peace Josh Curtis read most of the resolution. Then county judge-elect, Matt Brumley, ended the reading by presenting the plaque to his predecessor, along with a big hug.
Judge Arey called his family to come be with him as he recounted his beginnings, including a story about the first time he told his dad he was going to run for office – and his dad’s response.
UPDATE DEC 8, 2022
Come celebrate the retirement of County Judge Jeff Arey on Monday. There will be a reception on December 12th at 111 N. Main (the event venue) in downtown Benton. It’s a drop-in event from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. The public is invited to come say hello and share memories and fellowship. See Arey’s statement below from 2021 on the main reasons he made the decision not to run for office again – two new ones in particular.
PREVIOUSLY FEB 28, 2021
Saline County Judge Jeff Arey announced Monday that he will retire at the end of his term in December and that he is endorsing Saline Health Foundation Director Matt Brumley to serve as his successor.
Arey said, “It has been a tremendous honor to serve as County Judge. I love Saline County, and I’m immensely proud of our team and what we’ve all accomplished together. After nearly 30 years in public service, I believe this is the right time to pass the baton. It’s time for me to spend some quality time with my wife, family and friends and to spoil my grandchildren rotten.
My final decision came down to making sure that there was a highly qualified person ready to take over the office next January. I’ve known Matt Brumley for decades, and I’ve always been impressed with his ability, his sincerity, and his commitment to helping people. I believe Matt Brumley will make an excellent County Judge, and I am proud to give him my wholehearted endorsement for the election on May 24th.”
Among the highlights of Arey’s two terms as County Judge were the development of the $43 million Saline County Career Technical Campus; the creation of the County Financial Management Department, modernizing the county’s budgeting and accounting systems; and making significant improvements to the County Emergency Management system to enhance safety and service to Saline County Citizens.
“County Judge is a challenging job with a lot of moving parts. The regular days are interesting, the tough days are rewarding, and the easy days—well, they’re rare,” Arey said with a smile.
“Matt Brumley is a good friend and a good man, and I’m excited about the fact he’s running for County Judge. Frankly, having someone of his caliber step up made my decision to retire a much easier one. When you work hard for so many years to make things better, it’s hard to step aside until you know things will be in good hands. Matt has the experience, the good relationships, and the steady hand necessary to take care of the people’s business. In closing, I want to thank my staff and colleagues for their dedication, my wife, Betsy, and our kids and their families for their love and support, and I want thank the citizens of Saline County for giving me their trust for the past eight years. Of course, I’ll be on the job until December 31st, and I promise I’ll do all I can to ensure a smooth transition for the next county judge. Thanks.”
The Primary Election will be held May 24, 2022.
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