County government is a political subdivision which provides services to all of the citizens of the county. These services include law enforcement, county roads, sanitation, judicial, emergency medical, fire protection, elections, jails, assessment, collection and distribution of property tax proceeds, the management of public records, and many other services.
Nine elected executive officers and a countywide legislative body called the quorum court provide these various services. The nine elected officials are county judge, sheriff, county clerk, circuit clerk, collector, assessor, treasurer, coroner and surveyor. As is the case in Stone County, some counties combine two of the offices such as county clerk/circuit clerk. Not all counties elect a surveyor or a coroner, and in those that do elect them, the jobs are usually not full-time positions. Such is the case in Stone County.
Arkansas provides for its county legislative bodies to be composed of 9 to 15 members called justices of the peace. The number of JPs is determined by population. Stone County has nine JPs. Each JP is elected to represent a specific district within the county.
Stone County voters also elect constables, which are township officials charged by law to conserve the peace in that specific township.
County and township officials are elected to serve terms of 4 years, except Justices of the Peace and Constables which serve a term of 2 years.