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Law enforcement veteran Jimmy Don Clark is seeking the Republican nomination for Lamar County constable in Precinct 5.
“I see this as an opportunity to further my law enforcement career,” Clark said. “I want to use my experience and knowledge to let the citizens of Precinct 5 know they have a constable and who the constable is. I can accomplish this by working closely with the other law enforcement agencies in Lamar County and lending my assistance on any major incidents, helping in traffic control or by serving arrest warrants in Precinct 5.”
He faces incumbent Jimmy Hodges and Gerry Don Hines in the March 4 primary.
Clark has more than 34 years of law enforcement experience, all but six years of which has been in Lamar County. He has served as patrol officer, field training officer, narcotics investigator, patrol supervisor and criminal investigator. Clark currently works as an investigator with the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office, and has also worked for the Lewisville Police Department. He has received more than 1,400 training hours and holds a master certificate from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
“A constable is a licensed peace officer and as such, has the same responsibilities as any other peace officer in Texas,” Clark said. “This office has a deputy constable, and I have been and had training as a supervisor. I have both the experience and qualifications to be constable.”
Clark and wife Susan, a registered cardiac sonographer at Paris Regional Medical Center, have been married 33 years. They have three children and five grandchildren.
The young racers participated in six categories. Results for Tigers were:
Results for the Wolves:
Results for Webelos 1:
Results for Webelos 2:
Results for Outlaw Youth:
“That’s $31,841 paid out of the high school allotment funds and not by our parents,” Mark Hudson, deputy superintendent of curriculum and student services, told the school board Monday.
Dual credit courses give students credit for a high school class and Paris Junior College course at the same time. The spring semester has:
Recent changes in state law allow students to take a wider range of classes as they seek credit for graduation, such as vocational courses and dual credit classes – something Superintendent Paul Jones said Paris Independent School District hopes to take advantage of
“We’re trying to expand the course offerings for next year,” he said. “We have to have an agreement with PJC to make that happen.”
Paris Economic Development Corp. is set to make a $388,500 incentive payment to J. Skinner Baking even as the board chairman is advising a watchful eye on the corporation’s finances.
The PEDC board of directors approved the payment Tuesday in response to a Jan. 13 invoice from Skinner that claimed $330,000 for 132 jobs created and $58,500 for training for 117 employees.
In all, Skinner Baking reported 133 employees with 16 terminations, for a current total of 117. The company also reported $11.8 million has been invested in the old Sara Lee bakery through 2013.
Skinner paid $126,799 in property taxes for 2013.
According to the incentive agreement implemented last year, PEDC will pay $1.18 million through 2016 if Skinner invests $25 million and hires 393 full-time employees — $196,500 for training reimbursement and $982,500 for job creation. The schedule predicted 135 jobs in 2013, 199 in 2014 and 59 in 2015.
Earlier in the meeting, board Chair Rebecca Clifford raised some concerns about PEDC’s cash flow. The corporation has a $2 million line of credit with Capital One, and as part of that agreement, PEDC has to keep at least $400,000 of cash on hand.
“Obviously, we need to stay on our austerity program for the next five or six months,” board member David Turner said.
As of the end of December, PEDC had $1.5 million. Incentives that are likely to be paid out relatively soon, such as Campbell Soup, J. Skinner, Rogers-Wade and Paris Lakes, would bring that down to $325,000. Longer-term incentives to T&K Machine, Bodyguard Truck Accessories, Potters Industries and Daisy Dairy would drop that to about $250,000.
“We’re in default if we get that low,” Clifford said. “We need to look at our numbers.”
A default is not very likely, she said, but “we need to be aware. We don’t need to make any major changes.”
Interim Director Shannon Barrentine said PEDC brings in about $100,000 a month in sales tax revenue. About $50,000 goes to operational expenses — including $30,000 to debt payments — leaving about $50,000 into reserves.
“We’re hoping Skinner will pay the bridge loan off before we get to that point,” Barrentine said, referring to a $2 million loan PEDC made to J. Skinner Baking.
The company paid $67,314 in interest on the loan last year.
With the departure of former Director Steve Gilbert, PEDC has added a temporary contract worker to help in the office. Barrentine asked to move funds from the $180,000 salaries budget to contracts to pay for the roughly $1,500 a month expense.
After some discussion about how much they would need to transfer, City Manager John Godwin said another option would be to make the budget changes after the charges were incurred. As long as the overall budget’s bottom line didn’t change, it would not be an issue, he said.
In other business:
As the search for a new director for the Paris Economic Development Corp. gets under way, one board member is encouraging the organization to seek a “potential superstar” — rather than a star already made.
“Our economic circumstances have changed so drastically from four or five years ago when we were flush with cash,” board member David Turner said during Tuesday’s meeting. “We’re no longer flush with cash.”
Turner is part of an ad hoc committee on PEDC’s organizational structure, along with City Councilman John Wright and Bill Strathern, a former councilman who publicly questioned the direction PEDC made under former Director Steve Gilbert last year.
The committee has been charged with fashioning a job description for the new director. Turner said the committee has spent a great deal of time discussing the traits PEDC needs in its next hire.
Until one is found, Assistant Director Shannon Barrentine was named interim director effective Feb. 1. During the course of her expanded duties, her salary is increased by $1,500 a month.
“We do not want to just put an ad in some journal. We want to contact people we know who might possibly know someone who would work,” Turner said. “To put it in baseball terms, what we’re going to look for is some potential superstar at the 2A level. We’re not going to get a superstar on what we can afford.”
He said PEDC should look for someone young and “aggressive” who would be eager to get a few years of experience with an organization like the Paris Economic Development Corp. before moving on to something bigger.
In November, Turner said something similar about finding a person who was “young, bright, bushy-tailed and aggressive” to steer government contracts to Paris.
The committee’s discussion apparently also ventured into the sorts of projects PEDC needs to go after.
“We think of industrial jobs; non-farm industrial jobs only make up 10 percent of this country’s jobs now,” Turner said. “It’s more of a service, digital economy.”
He said PEDC needs to look for companies that could work in conjunction with existing employers, such as a cheese manufacturer to work with Daisy Dairy. He also said Paris needs an inpatient drug rehabilitation center for women. The closest such is south of Waco, and a 100-bed facility would provide 60 jobs and a payroll in excess of $1 million, he said.
The ad hoc committee should have a draft of the director’s job description by the next meeting, Turner said. How much the job might pay is unknown, he said, but Wright has advocated an incentive system to go with a base salary.
“We’re all of a mind to pay a nice, living wage where you can live and raise a family, but there’s a nice gold ring out there if you hit a home run,” Turner said.
The board also officially accepted Bruce Carr’s resignation, effective Jan. 28. With his departure, the board needed a new vice chair. That office fell on the board’s newest member, Stephen Grubbs — who was not at the meeting.
“I want to table that until next meeting, because I want Steve Grubbs in there,” Turner said. After some discussion, he changed his mind: “I withdraw that motion, and I nominate Brother Grubbs.”
Board member Vicki Ballard seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.