Hearts for Service - Jeanne Andrews
Monday, June 12, 2017 9:00 am
AAC Communications Coordinator
Talk to Logan County Justice of the Peace Jeanne Andrews for a few minutes and you know right away what gives her fuel for the job: helping the people of Logan County.
“I want to make sure our county is our No. 1 priority,” she said. “We work hard to give Logan county residents the services they need and want while keeping our county financially sound.”
Andrews grew up on a farm in the rural community of Waveland, Arkansas. She spent many days with her three siblings exploring Blue Mountain Lake and taking in the view from atop Mount Magazine.
She credits farm life for teaching her about hard work. And she uses these lessons even today as justice of the peace.
“We had cattle and enjoyed everything pertaining to country life,” she said. “Growing up on a farm, you learn about hard work and the satisfaction of hard work.”
After 18 years in Waveland, she married her husband, John Andrews, and moved to Booneville. They have two children and six grandchildren.
Andrews has served as justice of the peace in Logan County for 17 years. So she knows the job like the back of her hand. But there was a time when a career in county government never crossed her mind. It wasn’t until a church friend who served on the quorum court piqued her interest in running for a position in county government. She then took a leap of faith and, to her surprise, ran unopposed and won election. She has run unopposed for the position for 17 years.
“There is something new to learn during every one of our quorum court meetings —something I haven’t heard before,” she said. “I like every court member. Even if there is a disagreement, we still leave on good terms.”
After 17 years, Andrews knows a thing or two about how county government works, and has several pieces of wisdom to share with others interested in working in public service.
“Go into it with an open mind, and don’t have any preconceived notions of how it should work. Always be ready to learn something new,” she said. “First, it’s important to learn how government works. Also, be willing to listen to everyone’s concerns and make the best decision for the county that you can.”
Along with serving as justice of the peace, she and her husband owned an independent insurance agency for 30 years and have made a hobby out of traveling. One of their favorite things to do is flipping through their book of unusual places in Arkansas, picking a destination, packing a bag, and hitting the road for some fun.
“Anywhere in northern Arkansas and the Ozark mountains is beautiful. It doesn’t matter how often I go there, I see something new,” she said. “I love traveling to other cities and countries, but there’s nothing prettier than Arkansas.”
She admits she has a wilder side, though. If she had the opportunity to skydive, she would take it … even though her husband isn’t so crazy about it.
“Skydiving is on my bucket list,” she said. “But my husband said that it’s definitely not on his.”
Andrews’ says she looks forward to working on important projects in the county, such as a new jail. And she intends to serve as justice of the peace as long as possible.