County News

Profiles in Service - Aug. 5, 2019

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Debbie Wise

NACo Board of Directors
Circuit Clerk and Recorder
Randolph County, Ark.


Number of years involved in NACo: Five

Years in public service: 28

Occupation: Randolph County Circuit Clerk and Recorder

The hardest thing I’ve ever done is: Sit through court when there were children being abused and mistreated because of the parents being addicted to drugs or alcohol. Drug addiction plays such a big role in today’s society and it’s important for us to get help for the people who need it most whenever we can and never judge people based on their past experiences.  

Three people (living or dead) I’d invite to dinner: My dad, John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln. I consider these three people inspirational figures that assist me with how I make decisions in my day-to-day life. 

A dream I have is to: Run a café by the beach.  

You’d be surprised to learn: I traveled a lot when I was growing up because both of my parents were in the military. Now, I’m proud to call Pocahontas, Ark. my forever home.  

The most adventurous thing I’ve ever done is: Run for office all these years. 

I’m most proud: That I was able to go from being a single mom with a high school diploma to being elected Randolph County Circuit Clerk since 1990; being elected president of the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC) Executive Board, as well as becoming a member of the NACo Board. I’ll forever be thankful for the citizens of Randolph County, AAC and the NACo board for entrusting me with the responsibility to serve such an important role. 

Every morning I read: Local newspapers and The New York Times 

My favorite meal is: Any meal I get to eat with my family. I love to try new foods from different cultures. 

My pet peeve is: Judgmental people. Judging and belittling people is never OK, no matter the circumstance.  

My motto is: “Wisdom knows what to overlook.” — William James

The last book I read was: A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey

My favorite way to relax is to: Go to the movies and spend time with my grandkids. 

My favorite movie is: True stories, drama and suspense movies

My favorite music: Anything I can dance to

My favorite U.S. president: Abraham Lincoln 

My county is a NACo member because: It gives small counties the ability to learn new ideas and solutions that affect the state and county government at more than just a local level. It only takes one person to make a difference, but if we all come together to develop new solutions, we could make a difference not just in Arkansas, but within the nation.

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