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The search for a new Paris Economic Development Corp. executive director has attracted quite a bit of attention.
A total of 78 people have expressed an interest in the position, yielding a stack of resumes several inches thick.
“We’re looking for the right leader,” Chairman Stephen Grubbs said. “I see folks here who have a ton of EDC experience and city management experience.”
In addition to those, there are several other candidates who may have simply been applying to every job they found. The list includes a sports consultant, college teachers, public relations professionals, sales professionals, a former newspaper publisher, an oilfield worker, agriculture professionals, a preacher, youth coordinator, an archivist, a former Michaels laborer and a title company director.
“About 25 percent of those people might be qualified,” board member David Turner said. “Somehow we need to go through and cull these.”
Previously, Grubbs said, the board had decided to set up a separate committee that would review those candidates the PEDC board felt were most qualified. The committee so far consists of Grubbs, Turner, Paris Junior College President Pam Anglin and Campbell Soup plant manager Ray Oldach, plus a representative from the City Council. PEDC had considered then-Mayor A.J. Hashmi, but Grubbs noted that may be best left up to the council.
“I think we’d appreciate that more,” Edwin Pickle, the City Council liaison to the PEDC board, said with a laugh. “The mayor is an ex-officio member of the board. I think it should be the mayor or his designee.”
By Aug. 1, each of the board members is expected to go through the list and mark each one as a “yes” or “no” to move forward to round two. The board of directors will then discuss five or so to pass on to the interview committee for further consideration. That committee will then make a recommendation or two to the board.