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Grubbs named chairman of PEDC board

John Brockman, left, and Don Wilson are sworn in as new members of the PEDC board of directors. (eParis Extra photo by Jeff Parish)

John Brockman, left, and Don Wilson are sworn in as new members of the PEDC board of directors. (eParis Extra photo by Jeff Parish)

Stephen Grubbs is the new chairman of the Paris Economic Development Corp. board of directors.

He is part of a new slate of officers that includes John Brockman as vice-chair and outgoing Chair Rebecca Clifford as secretary/treasurer.

The PEDC board selected new officers Tuesday after swearing in two new members, Brockman and Don Wilson.

“I didn’t come in expecting to be chair of the board, although I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t looking forward to the opportunity,” Grubbs said. “It’s a new day, and together we will strive to exceed the expectations of our city.”

When nominations began, Wilson put Grubbs forward, seconded by Brockman and approved by unanimous vote.

“Your job,” Clifford said. “Congratulations.”

Wilson nominated Brockman as vice chairman. Brockman tried to nominate Wilson for treasurer, but he declined. Wilson then nominated Clifford. Both votes were unanimous.

Both Clifford and Grubbs welcomed the new members, who were appointed by the City Council on Monday.

“We’re very fortunate to have men like you who care so deeply about our city on the board,” Grubbs said. “Thank you for your willingness to serve.”

Chairman Stephen Grubbs, left, and outgoing Chair Rebecca Clifford say farewell to resigning board member Vicki Ballard, center. (eParis Extra photo by Jeff Parish)

Chairman Stephen Grubbs, left, and outgoing Chair Rebecca Clifford say farewell to resigning board member Vicki Ballard, center. (eParis Extra photo by Jeff Parish)

He praised the staff, saying Shannon Barrentine, interim executive director, has been very professional during a time of uncertainty.

The board also recognized departing member Vicki Ballard, who stayed just long enough to receive a plaque and say good-bye.

“Out of 20 meetings, I’ve only missed four,” she said as she walked out the door.

In other business:

  • The board set a special meeting for 3 p.m. Monday to discuss the 2014-2015 budget.
  • Monday’s session will also deal with qualifications for legal representation. City Attorney Kent McIlyar has requested to be removed from representation of PEDC in legal matters, so the board must seek outside counsel as it has at times in the past. “We met in executive session, and it was agreed that the honorable approach would be that the city attorney would recuse himself from being involved in the PEDC because of some comments made by a council member,” said Edwin Pickle, the City Council liaison to the PEDC board.
  • The board agreed to get an appraisal to determine fair market value to sell property at 1546 South Church following an hour-long closed session.
  • Barrentine discussed Proposition 1 on the November ballot. Most state constitutional amendments are done in odd years in the spring, but this one addresses transportation funding from the state’s oil and gas production taxes. “We all know that transportation is a big deal for economic development,” she said. “It’s a big deal for the city and the region.”
  • The board approved a $5,000 bid to repair two leaking sections of the depot’s tile roof.
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