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The “Paris Leadership Summit” will begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m.
In a statement, the PEDC said the Paris Diversity Initiative will give its final report and address the issues and opportunities identified in the report.
Paris Economic Development Corporation executive director Steve Gilbert (right) will make a report at tonight’s Paris City Council meeting on the PEDC’s accomplishments over the past 17 years. Also in the picture are assistant executive director Shannon Barrentine and PEDC president Pike Burkhart. (www.eParisExtra.com Photo by Charles Richards)
By CHARLES RICHARDS
Steve Gilbert, executive director of the Paris Economic Development Corp., will appear before the Paris City Council tonight to give “more than a rebuttal” to Mayor AJ Hashmi’s criticism in April of the PEDC’s accomplishments.
Fred Green, director of the Red River Region Business Incubator (R3bi), who frequently sits in on PEDC meetings, sent out an e-mail inviting businessmen and other community leaders to be at tonight’s presentation of the PEDC’s activities and accomplishments since 1995.
“This is more than a rebuttal of the mayor’s statements,” Green said in the email. “It is a complete analysis of the PEDC from someone who has only been there for two of the 17 years and has looked objectively at the history. Hope to see you there.”
The PEDC posted a notice saying a quorum of the board’s five members could be at tonight’s meeting.
Gilbert’s presentation is scheduled as item No. 18 on a 34-item agenda, but the first nine items generally take only a few minutes.
However, one of the early items is reception and deliberation on reports and/or minutes from various boards, commissions, and committees – one of which is the PEDC’s minutes of April 26, pertaining to a meeting the mayor attended.
The minutes reflect that the board convened into executive session at 3:01 p.m. and came out at 3:31 p.m., adding: “There was no action as a result of executive session discussion.”
Hashmi says he brought an economic development matter before the PEDC during that executive session, on which a consensus was indeed reached.
Hashmi said he would point out that the action in executive session should have been ratified in open session as required by the Texas Open Meetings Act.
At the city council’s April 9 meeting, in a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation, Hashmi said the PEDC hasn’t shown much of a return on the quarter-cent sales tax that funds it. He asked what the PEDC had accomplished with the $17 million in revenues since 1993.
“Looking at our success rate of jobs vs. dollars spent, we fall very short. We need to re-look and decide if the present PEDC way of doing business is the best way. So far, we really have not done a great job at what the PEDC came into existence for,” Hashmi said.
“I do not know what is the best solution,” the mayor said. “I just know the PEDC has not achieved all of its goals as initially set. My recommendation is to seriously look into the viability of this organization as a source of spending tax dollars that belong to the residents.”
Hashmi said a member of the PEDC board told him the PEDC “does not trust the city.”
Gilbert — along with PEDC members Bruce Carr and Doug Wehrman and assistant executive director Shannon Barrentine — attended that meeting. Gilbert declined comment that night, telling the council he would respond with a presentation at a later meeting.
That response will come tonight.
Using words like “ignorance” and “arrogance,” PEDC president Pike Burkhart fired back at Hashmi at the PEDC’s meeting the next day.
“There is a reason why the community wisely separated the economic development responsibilities from the direct supervision of the mayor and city manager. Mayor Hashmi’s economic development ‘plans’ are a perfect example why,” Burkhart said.
Burkhart went on:
“Mayor Hashmi is a bright physician, but he is no guru of economic development. The economic development ideas he posited last night at the City Council meeting show his ignorance of economic development, his lack of respect for the hard work of the community in putting together the first PEDC Sustainable Strategic Plan and his arrogance in not participating in the plan’s formation.”
Wehrman and Carr immediately distanced themselves from Burkhart’s remarks.
Wehrman said he admired Burkhart’s opinion, but didn’t necessarily agree with the statement toward the mayor.
While he said he found some of the mayor’s comments “irritating,” Wehrman said everyone will have to work together to benefit Paris. He added that the PEDC hasn’t gotten credit for retaining jobs that might have gone elsewhere without local efforts.
“No one cares for Paris more than Pike Burkhart,” Carr said at the meeting. “I respect his opinion and his feelings, but I don’t necessarily agree with his conclusions.”
Regarding Burkhart’s comments, Hashmi said he appreciated the PEDC president’s response.
“The purpose of my presentation was to excite them, so they work hard. I think even just the response is good enough to know these people are thinking hard about it. “
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By CHARLES RICHARDS
The 2012 General Election will feature three LOCAL contested races — county commissioner of Precinct 1, constable of Precinct 1, and constable of Precinct 3.
Incumbent Lawrence Malone defeated Dennis Johnson for the Republican nomination for county commissioner of Precinct 1. Running unopposed on the Democratic ballot was Cody Jones.
For constable of Precinct 1, Madaline Chance won the Republican nomination over former Precinct 1 constable Randy Boren. Rodney Smith was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
For constable of Precinct 3, Larry Cope avoided a runoff by getting more than half the votes against Republican opponents Steven C. Hill and Sam Hurst. But in November, Cope will face Chad Frazier, who ran unopposed as a Democrat.
Tuesday’s election ran smoothly, thanks in large part to state-of-the-art electronic voting under the direction of Lamar County elections administrator Russ Towers. Results from the early vote were released immediately upon the closing of polls at 7 p.m., and results from Tuesday’s voting followed efficiently through the evening.
Here is a wrap-up of the Lamar County voting on Tuesday, May 29, 2012:
|Presidential – REP||Rick Santorum||600||8.85||%|
|Presidential – REP||Newt Gingrich||364||5.37||%|
|Presidential – REP||Charles Buddy” Roemer”||30||0.44||%|
|Presidential – REP||Ron Paul||662||9.77||%|
|Presidential – REP||Jon Huntsman||25||0.37||%|
|Presidential – REP||Michele Bachmann||48||0.71||%|
|Presidential – REP||Mitt Romney||4,523||66.74||%|
|Presidential – REP||John Davis||33||0.49||%|
|Presidential – REP||Uncommitted||492||7.26||%|
|Presidential – DEM||Barack Obama||499||82.62||%|
|Presidential – DEM||Bob Ely||27||4.47||%|
|Presidential – DEM||John Wolfe||41||6.79||%|
|Presidential – DEM||Darcy G. Richardson||37||6.13||%|
|United States Senator – REP||David Dewhurst||3,432||53.09||%|
|United States Senator – REP||Ted Cruz||1,306||20.2||%|
|United States Senator – REP||Ben Gambini||79||1.22||%|
|United States Senator – REP||Lela Pittenger||85||1.31||%|
|United States Senator – REP||Tom Leppert||1,127||17.44||%|
|United States Senator – REP||Curt Cleaver||31||0.48||%|
|United States Senator – REP||Glenn Addison||61||0.94||%|
|United States Senator – REP||Craig James||314||4.86||%|
|United States Senator – REP||Joe Agris||29||0.45||%|
|United States Senator – DEM||Addie Dainell Allen||111||19.44||%|
|United States Senator – DEM||Sean Hubbard||88||15.41||%|
|United States Senator – DEM||Paul Sadler||257||45.01||%|
|United States Senator – DEM||Grady Yarbrough||115||20.14||%|
|US Representative, District 4||Ralph M. Hall||4,025||61.17||%|
|US Representative, District 4||Steve Clark||1,300||19.76||%|
|US Representative, District 4||Lou Gigliotti||1,255||19.07||%|
|Railroad Commissioner – REP||Warren Chisum||1,445||27.11||%|
|Railroad Commissioner – REP||Beryl Burgess||346||6.49||%|
|Railroad Commissioner – REP||Becky Berger||834||15.65||%|
|Railroad Commissioner – REP||Christi Craddick||1,790||33.58||%|
|Railroad Commissioner – REP||Roland Sledge||361||6.77||%|
|Railroad Commissioner – REP||Joe Cotten||554||10.39||%|
|Railroad Commissioner – DEM||Dale Henry||535||100||%|
|Railroad Commissioner, Unexpired – REP||Greg Parker||2,419||47.46||%|
|Railroad Commissioner, Unexpired – REP||Elizabeth Murray-Kolb||1,054||20.68||%|
|Railroad Commissioner, Unexpired – REP||Barry Smitherman||1,315||25.8||%|
|Railroad Commissioner, Unexpired – REP||Al Lee||309||6.06||%|
|Justice, Supreme Court, Place 2 – REP||Don Willett||3,024||59.04||%|
|Justice, Supreme Court, Place 2 – REP||Steve Smith||2,098||40.96||%|
|Justice, Supreme Court, Place 4 – REP||Joe Pool, Jr.||2,531||49.81||%|
|Justice, Supreme Court, Place 4 – REP||David Medina||1,729||34.03||%|
|Justice, Supreme Court, Place 4 – REP||John Devine||821||16.16||%|
|Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6 – REP||Nathan Hecht||4,516||100||%|
|Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6 – DEM||Michele Petty||518||100||%|
|Presiding Judge, CT Crim. Appeals – DEM||Keith Hampton||526||100||%|
|Presiding Judge, CT Crim. Appeals – REP||Sharon Keller||4,535||100||%|
|Judge, Ct Crim. Appeals, Pl 7 – REP||Barbara Parker Hervey||4,442||100||%|
|Judge, Ct Crim. Appeals, Pl 8 – REP||Elsa Alcala||4,322||100||%|
|Member, State BoE, District 9 – REP||Randy Stevenson||2,208||41.26||%|
|Member, State BoE, District 9 – REP||Thomas Ratliff||3,144||58.74||%|
|State Senator, District 1 – REP||Kevin P. Eltife||4,919||100||%|
|State Senator, District 1 – DEM||Stephen H. Russell||523||100||%|
|State Representative, District 1 – REP||George Lavender||4,443||100||%|
|Justice, 6th CT of Appeals DIST, P2 – REP||Bailey C. Moseley||2,740||55.73||%|
|Justice, 6th CT of Appeals DIST, P2 – REP||H.D. Bailey||2,177||44.27||%|
|Justice, 6th CT of Appeals DIST, P2 – DEM||Frank L. Supercinski||507||100||%|
|District Judge, 6th Judicial District – REP||Eric S. Clifford||5,061||100||%|
|District Judge, 62nd Judicial District – REP||Will Biard||4,437||63.97||%|
|District Judge, 62nd Judicial District – REP||Erwin Cain||2,499||36.03||%|
|County Attorney – REP||Gary Young||5,275||100||%|
|Sheriff – REP||Scott Cass||4,341||61.49||%|
|Sheriff – REP||Robert Hughes||203||2.88||%|
|Sheriff – REP||John W. Johnny” Williams”||2,516||35.64||%|
|County Tax Assessor-Collector – REP||Haskell Maroney||5,129||100||%|
|County Commissioner, Precinct 1 – REP||Lawrence Malone||1,117||68.65||%|
|County Commissioner, Precinct 1 – REP||Dennis P. Johnson||510||31.35||%|
|County Commissioner, Precinct 1 – DEM||Cody Jones||98||100||%|
|County Commissioner, Precinct 3 – REP||Kevin Jenkins||926||45.19||%|
|County Commissioner, Precinct 3 – REP||Rodney Pollard||1,123||54.81||%|
|Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Pl. 1 – REP||Cindy Cooper Ruthart||2,149||68.44||%|
|Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Pl. 1 – REP||Jesse James Freelen||991||31.56||%|
|Constable, Precinct 1 – REP||Randy Boren||489||49.29||%|
|Constable, Precinct 1 – REP||Madaline Chance||503||50.71||%|
|Constable, Precinct. 1 – DEM||Rodney Smith||27||100|
|Constable, Precinct 2 – REP||Vance Boehler||325||100||%|
|Constable, Precinct 3 – REP||Larry Cope||753||59.53||%|
|Constable, Precinct 3 – REP||Steven C. Hill||379||29.96||%|
|Constable, Precinct 3 – REP||Sam Hurst||133||10.51||%|
|Constable, Precinct 3 – DEM||Chad Frazier||43||100||%|
|Constable, Precinct No. 4 – REP||Richard E. Rick” Easterwood”||721||100||%|
|Constable, Precinct 5 – REP||Jimmy Hodges||1,129||40.26||%|
|Constable, Precinct 5 – REP||Gene C. Hobbs, Jr.||1,675||59.74||%|
|County Chairman – REP||John Kruntorad||4,672||100||%|
|County Chairman – DEM||Mike Mosher||215||35.07||%|
|County Chairman – DEM||Brady Fisher||398||64.93||%|
|SCHOOL CHOICE – REP||YES||5,343||81.77||%|
|SCHOOL CHOICE – REP||NO||1,191||18.23||%|
|REPEALING OBAMACARE – REP||YES||6,075||91.04||%|
|REPEALING OBAMACARE – REP||NO||598||8.96||%|
|PUBLIC PRAYER – REP||YES||6,231||91.46||%|
|PUBLIC PRAYER – REP||NO||582||8.54||%|
|BALANCED BUDGET – REP||YES||6,231||94.47||%|
|BALANCED BUDGET – REP||NO||365||5.53||%|
|REDISTRICTING – REP||YES||4,620||75.64||%|
|REDISTRICTING – REP||NO||1,488||24.36||%|
|LOWER TUITION W/3 YRS RESIDENCE – DEM||FOR||524||86.75||%|
|LOWER TUITION W/3 YRS RESIDENCE – DEM||AGAINST||80||13.25||%|
|AFFORDABLE TUITION – DEM||FOR||549||91.81||%|
|AFFORDABLE TUITION – DEM||AGAINST||49||8.19||%|
|LEGALIZE CASINOS – DEM||FOR||415||69.28||%|
|LEGALIZE CASINOS – DEM||AGAINST||184||30.72||%|
By CHARLES RICHARDS
Paris attorney Will Biard captured the 62nd State District judgeship Tuesday night, defeating State Rep. Ervin Cain by a 96-vote margin — 6,218 (50.4 percent) to 6,122 (49.6 percent).
He carried Lamar County, the largest of the four-county region that is served by the court, winning 64 percent of the votes. That was just enough to withstand Cain’s edge in Hopkins (Sulphur Springs), Franklin (Mount Vernon), and Delta (Cooper) counties.
In another high-interest race locally, Scott Cass — the chief deputy for current Sheriff B.J. McCoy, scored a decisive victory over longtime former law enforcement officer Johnny Williams. Cass received 4,341 votes (61.5 percent) to 2,516 (35.7) for Williams.
Lawrence Malone won the GOP nomination for county commissioner of Precinct 1, receiving 1,117 votes (68.7 percent) to 510 votes (31.4 percent) for challenger Dennis Johnson.
In an often contentious race for county commissioner of Precinct 3, Rodney Pollard won back the job he lost four years ago to Kevin Jenkins, when a wave of Republican voters meant victory to almost everyone running under the GOP banner. Pollard trailed after the early vote, but came on strong to win, 945 (52.5 percent) to 854 (47.5 percent).
Madaline Chance, who became Precinct 1 constable four years ago when incumbent Randy Boren ran unsuccessfully for sheriff, successfully won her bid for re-election, but by a razor-thin margin. Chance led after the early vote, then fell behind after the first few boxes came in from Tuesday’s vote. But she surged ahead again at the end and won by 14 votes — 503 (50.7 percent) to 489 (94.3 percent).
Cindy Ruthart repelled the challenge of former Paris mayor Jesse James Freelen to win re-election to Justice of the Peace of Precinct 5, Place 1. Ruthart got 2,149 votes (68.4 percent) to 991 (31.6 percent) for Freelen.
In other contested local races, Larry Cope won the GOP primary for Constable of Precinct 3 without a runoff, getting 743 votes (59.5 percent) to 379 votes (30.0 percent) for Steven C. Hill, and 133 votes (10.5 percent) for Sam Hurst.
Gene C. Hobbs Jr. outpolled Jimmy Hodges 1,675 (59.7 percent) to 1,129 votes (40.3 percent) to win the GOP primary for constable of Precinct 5.
In the only contested local Democratic race, county Democratic chairman Brady Fisher won re-election over Mike Mosher by 398 (64.9 percent) to 215 (35.1 percent).
Lamar County gave Biard a 1,938-vote margin — 4,437 to 2,499. Cain won Delta County 447 (51.9 percent) to 414 (48.1 percent); Franklin County by 1,295 (68.9 percent) to 584 (31.1 percent); and Hopkins County by 1,881 (70.6 percent) to 783 (29.4 percent).
Both candidates were in the Republican primary. Biard will win without opposition in the November general election, since there is no Democrat opponent, and will take office next January.
“A win’s a win,” Biard said, adding that he was ”on my knees praying” while he sweated out the two hours it took for the last four boxes in Franklin County to be counted.
“I had a big turnout and a lot of supporters in Lamar County, so that was helpful. I feel good. I’m excited. It’s going to be fun,” Biard said.
Biard succeeds District Judge Scott McDowell, who did not seek reelection.
For results of all elections on the Republican and Democratic ballots in Lamar County, go to:
For a summary of statewide results in the Republican Primary, or for any other county’s voting in the GOP primary, go to:
For a summary of statewide results in the Democratic Primary, or for any other county’s voting in the GOP primary, go to:
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|ALL LAMAR COUNTY PRECINCTS|
|LAMAR COUNTY ONLY:|
|62ND DISTRICT COURT|
|***** 4-COUNTY TOTALS FOR|
|62ND DISTRICT COURT RACE|
|WITH A FEW BOXES STILL OUT|
|FRANKLIN COUNTY||424||935||5 OF 10|
|HOPKINS COUNTY||710||1701||1 box still out|
|LAMAR COUNTY||4437||2,499||33 OF 33|
|LAMAR COUNTY SHERIFF|
|CO COMMISSIONER, PCT 1|
|Dennis P. Johnson||510||31.35%|
|CO. COMMISSIONER, PCT 3|
|JP, PRECINCT 5, PLACE 1|
|Cindy Cooper Ruthart||2,149||68.44%|
|Jesse James Freelen||991||31.56%|
|CONSTABLE, PRECINCT 1|
|CONSTABLE, PRECINCT 3|
|Steven C. Hill||379||29.96%|
|CONSTABLE, PRECINCT 5|
|Gene C. Hobbs Jr.||1,675||59.74%|
|DEMO COUNTY CHAIRMAN|
|Darcy G. Richardson||37||6.13%|
|U.S. SENATOR, GOP|
|U.S. SENATOR, DEMO|
|Addie Dainell Allen||111||19.44%|
|U.S. REP. DISTRICT 4, GOP|
|Ralph M. Hall||4,025||61.17%|
|6TH CT OF APPEALS|
|Bailey C. Moseley||2,740||55.73%|
|GOP SCHOOL CHOICE|