- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
Burkhart said his primary goal was to see the PEDC’s business plan set in motion, and that was adopted earlier this year.
“I’ve been at this for about 10 years,” he said. “I look forward to seeing all of you making it happen.”
Rick Poston, the other outgoing board member, was out of town and could not make the meeting.
“He was always ready in his service as a board member to do whatever we needed him to do,” Director Steve Gilbert said.
Shannon Barrentine, PEDC assistant director, swore in their replacements, Toni Clem and Bill Harris.
Doug Wehrman was named as the board’s new chairman. Clem became secretary/treasurer. Kenny Dority retained his position as vice-chairman. Only Clem had any hesitation in accepting an officer role.
“You guys are crazy,” she said once the nomination was made. After learning the duties are mostly signatory in nature, she agreed.
Wehrman thanked the board for his election to the position. Like Burkhart, he expressed appreciation for the business plan the board put a lot of work into adopting.
“We’re doing a lot of things that are way outside the box for a small town,” he said, noting that leaders in Austin and Washington DC have said PEDC is on the right track.
Burkhart announced in April that he would not seek reappointment to the Paris Economic Development Corp. board of directors after he and the mayor clashed regarding PEDC’s accomplishments in recent years.
Dority said he appreciated Burkhart’s hard work and enthusiasm for economic development in Lamar County
“You know what they say about PEDC board chairmen, don’t you?” Gilbert said as Burkhart walked out the door. “They don’t retire. They just become part of TEAM Paris. So we will call you into service.”
In other business, Gilbert discussed a possible new software tool that could help PEDC with financial projections. Several board members have expressed concern over a lack of such projections to coincide with the business plan.
Tulsa-based Red Oak Planning submitted a proposal for $20,000 to set up its planning software for PEDC, plus $3,000 a year maintenance. Red Oak deals largely with municipal budgeting, Gilbert said.
The director said it’s too early to plan on any such system at the moment, but wanted to bring it to the board’s attention so they could think about it.