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By CHARLES RICHARDS
The City of Paris is beginning its annual search for volunteers to serve on its various boards and commissions. Board members serve three-year terms, so each year approximately one-third of the terms expire and new people come on board.
There are 13 standing boards and commissions. Following is a brief description of responsibilities and the number of vacancies:
Airport Advisory Board – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:
Meets the third Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
PURPOSE: Acts in an advisory capacity to the City Council in relation to the Municipal Airport, its operation and facilities; makes recommendations on changes and additions to the facilities at Cox Field, changes to lease terms for hangar rental, and use of the land at Cox Field.
Board of Adjustment – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:
Meets the first Tuesday of each month or as needed at noon.
PURPOSE: Hears zoning-related appeals by any person aggrieved or by an officer, department, or board of the municipality affected by the decision of the administrative officer (Zoning Ordinance 1710).
Building and Standards Commission – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:
Meets the third Monday of each month at 4 p.m.
PURPOSE: Hears and determines cases concerning alleged violations of ordinances concerning damaged or deteriorated structures or procedures; and enforces Ordinance No. 2002-032.
Civil Service Commission – NO MEMBERS NEEDED
Meets as needed, meeting time to be determined.
PURPOSE: Adopt rules and investigate matters related to enforcement of Civil Service regulations for firefighters and police officers, and hears appeals from disciplinary actions. Members must have good moral character, resident of the city for more than three years, be over 25 years of age, and not have held any public office within the preceding three years.
Historic Preservation Commission – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:
Meets the second Wednesday at 12 p.m.; and the fourth Monday at 4 p.m.
PURPOSE: Adopt rules and procedures; adopt identification criteria and rules for delineation of historic district boundaries; conduct and administer historic resource survey; recommend designation of districts and landmarks; establish committees as needed; produce and distribute minutes of meeting; develop public outreach; education; awareness programs; approve/disapprove certificates of appropriateness; provide design and other reasonable forms of advice to owners and tenants of historic properties in the certificate of appropriateness review process; recommend acquisition of endangered historic resources to the city council; submit an annual report to city council; prepare and promote design guidelines for landmarks/districts.
Housing Authority Board of Commissioners – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:
Meets the third Monday of every month at 4 pm.
PURPOSE: Oversees the budget, maintenance, and policy of the Housing Authority which consists of several apartment communities as well as duplexes and houses in the city limits of Paris.
Main Street Advisory Board – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:
Meets the third Tuesday of every month at 4 p.m.
PURPOSE: Responsible for establishing program policy, determining the goals and objectives of the program, and providing guidance and advice to the City Council; recommends guidelines for the refurbishing of buildings in the downtown area; and, recommends programs to bring patrons into the downtown area and sponsors advertising for these events.
Municipal Band Commission – 1 MEMBERS NEEDED:
Meets as needed.
The Band Commission shall have full power and control over the organization, discipline, membership, and duties of the members of the Municipal Band and the Leaders or Instructors thereof, and may regulate same by such rules or bylaws as they may deem it necessary to pass; provided, that no rule or bylaw or amendment of same shall be in force or effect until the same has been submitted to and approved by the City Council.
Paris Economic Development Corporation – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:
Meets the second Tuesday each month at 3 p.m.
PURPOSE: Promote, assist, and enhance the economic development activities of the City of Paris and issue bonds to carry out these activities.
Paris/Lamar County Board of Health – 6 MEMBERS NEEDED:
Meets quarterly on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
PURPOSE: To advise the Director on health matters.
Planning and Zoning Commission – 2 MEMBERS NEEDED:
Meets the first Monday of every month at 5:30 p.m.
PURPOSE: Reviews the requests by citizens and corporations for changes in zoning inside the city limits of Paris and makes recommendations to City Council for the approval or disapproval of those requests.
Public Library Advisory Board – 1 MEMBER NEEDED:
Meets the third Wednesday of each month.
PURPOSE: Acts in an advisory capacity to the City of Paris to study and make recommendations concerning library services, maintenance and improvement of facilities, and capital improvement projects.
Traffic Commission – 3 MEMBERS NEEDED:
Meets the first Tuesday of each month at 5:15 p.m.
PURPOSE: The Commission considers and proposes measures designed to minimize technical and difficult traffic problems resulting from increased vehicular traffic in Paris. Traffic Safety Coordinator provides staff support and coordination for the Commission.
Each appointment is for three years; appointees are limited to a maximum of two consecutive full terms on the same committee.
Applications are available at the City Hall Annex located at 150 1st Street S.E., or online at www.paristexas.gov. Questions should be directed to 903-784-9202 or 903-784-9231.
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Here are the polling places for Saturday’s elections for (a) four seats on the Paris City Council, (b) two seats on the Paris Junior College Board of Regents, (c) one seat on the Paris Independent School District board of trustees, (d) two seats on the North Lamar Independent School District board of trustees, and two seats on the Chisum Independent School Board. (Voting will be from 7 a.m. until the last person in line at 7 p.m. has voted.)
PARIS CITY COUNCIL:
DISTRICT 1: RED RIVER VALLEY FAIRGROUNDS (Aaron Jenkins vs. Don Shelton)
DISTRICT 2: RED RIVER VALLEY FAIRGROUNDS (Robert Avila vs. Sue Lancaster)
DISTRICT 3: LAMAR COUNTY COURTHOUSE ANNEX (OLD POST OFFICE) (John Wright vs. Marvin Wroten)
DISTRICT 6: LAMAR COUNTY COURTHOUSE ANNEX (OLD POST OFFICE) (Edwin Pickle vs. Cleonne Holmes Drake)
PARIS JUNIOR COLLEGE:
DISTRICT 1: RED RIVER VALLEY FAIRGROUNDS (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
DISTRICT 2: FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
DISTRICT 3: OAK PARK METHODIST CHURCH (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
DISTRICT 4: CECIL EVERETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
DISTRICT 5: FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
DISTRICT 6: PJC BOBBY WALTERS WORKFORCE TRAINING CENTER (Barney Bray vs. Ginna Walker Bowman; Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
DISTRICT 7: RAMSEUR BAPTIST CHURCH and FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CUNNINGHAM (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
PLACE 6: PJC BOBBY WALTERS WORKFORCE TRAINING CENTER (Jenny Wilson vs. Trase Christian)
NORTH LAMAR ISD:
ALL VOTERS: CECIL EVERETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL and POWDERLY VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT (at-large voting, with Dave Osborn, Amy Stephens and Jimmy Womack vying for two board positions. The seats will go to the two with the most votes.)
CHISUM ISD ADMINISTRATION OFFICES and the CONVENIENCE STORE AT TOCO (at-large voting, with Lori Collins, Wesley Jackson, Kelly Jeffery, Larry Rickman, Todd Tisdell and Kerry Washington vying for two board positions. The seats will go to the two with the most votes.)
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By CHARLES RICHARDS
Traffic was relatively heavy on Tuesday at the Lamar County Courthouse Annex (old post office) as early voting concluded for the Paris City Council, Paris Junior College and public school 2012 elections..
Election Day is Saturday, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Sixty people voted in the four city council races — behind only Monday and Tuesday of last week — and 121 cast ballots in the PJC election, only one voter off the previous high of 122 on the first day of early voting.
The day-by-day vote for the seven days of early voting from Monday, April 30, through Tuesday was :
City Council District 1 – Aaron Jenkins vs. Don Shelton: 3-6-3-6-9-9-6—42
City Council District 2 — incumbent Robert Avila vs. Sue Lancaster: 3-8-2-4-6-7-3—33
City Council District 3 – incumbent John Wright vs. Marvin Wroten: 8-9-12-9-7-7-10—62
City Council District 6 – incumbent Edwin Pickle vs. Cleonne Holmes Drake: 54-39-19-17-28-31-41–229
That compares to 478 votes cast last June in the 2011 runoff election for the District 7 race between Dr. AJ Hashmi and Rhonda Rogers — won by Hashmi. Another 22 votes was cast by mail in that election, plus 205 on Election Day itself for a total turnout of 705 votes from the city’s largest district.
For the Paris Junior College election, the early vote looked like this:
PJC District 6 – incumbent Barney Bray vs. Ginna Walker Bowman: 61-46-25-19-33-45-45–274
PJC At-Large District 9 – incumbent Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley: 122-119-77-78-109-113-121–739
Early voting also concluded Tuesday for the North Lamar Independent School District and the Paris Independent School District.
Their early voting looked like this:
North Lamar ISD At-Large Election — Dave Osborn, Amy Stephens, and Jimmy Womack, vying for two seats on the NL school board: 36-23-57-35-27-23-46—247.
Paris ISD Place 6 – Jenny Wilson vs. Trase Christian: 16-9-8-0-2-6-6–47.
Christian has been declared ineligible because his residence, which was in District 6 last year, is in another district this year because of redistricting. But the mistake was found too late to stop the election. If Christian receives the most votes, he will be ineligible and it will be up to the school board to appoint someone or to declare a special election for next November.
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By CHARLES RICHARDS
With the May 12 Paris municipal election fast approaching, city council candidate Marvin Wroten says the campaign has been a great experience.
Wroten, 57, is challenging incumbent John Wright for the District 3 seat on the council.
Going door to door each afternoon and on Saturdays, Wroten said, has not been unlike how he spent almost 40 years working for Brookshire’s Grocery Company.
“You know, ‘How are you? How can I help you?’ I’ve been going door to door throughout the district, talking with people, thanking them for their support, asking them if there are any questions,” he said.
“After a while, you know, you can get tired, but overall, it’s been wonderful. I love to talk to people anyway.”
Wroten retired last year from Brookshire’s, the company he was working for when he graduated from high school in Tyler in 1973. He was store manager at either Brookshire’s or Super One for most of the more than 25 years he and his wife have lived in Paris.
Wroten and his wife, Elaine, a CPA for McClanahan & Holmes, live at 236 Parc Place off west Bonham Street, only a block or so inside Loop 286.
The newly redrawn District 3 now covers most of the south half of Paris, wrapping around all the way to the Paris Junior College campus.
“I know I’ve probably missed someone here or there, but I’ve covered the majority of my district. The conversations I’ve had, it’s definitely been positive, even the homes that had a sign for John Wright,” he said.
“I tell them, ‘I know you’re for John Wright, and you know, that’s fine. Mr. Wright is a fine man. I ‘m here to answer any questions you have,” he said. “The main thing, I encourage people to go out and vote, whether it’s for me or someone else,” he said.
“I wish more people would vote in districts 1, 2 and 3, because the city council would have to look at their problems more. If you don’t vote, you don’t have as big a vote. You’re not fighting with as big a stick.”
At the start of the campaign, the pressing issue on people’s minds as he went from house to house was hiring a city manager, Wroten said.
Behind that, people were interested in the infrastructure – “that and just growth, and beautification,” he said.
“Many, many people have talked about the entry ways into our city, and certain areas where we need to do a better job of cleaning up neighborhoods. And it’s not limited to any one district. It’s a group effort. You can drive through any part of the city and find yards that are not maintained.”
Wroten has been a regular at city council meetings since he announced his candidacy. That has given him a sharper focus on how to resolve the issues facing the city, he said.
“Obviously, those who are already sitting on the city council have a little better idea of what’s going on and what’s been going on than those of us who are just getting into it.”
He added: “It’s a learning curve, but it’s a great learning experience, and win or lose, I’ve won for the simple fact of what I’ve learned.”
Wroten has had a couple of people help him, but mostly it’s been him, knocking on doors and ringing doorbells.
“I thought it better for me to be at the door than someone else. Almost every afternoon and Saturday, it’s been just going out and doing it.”
His district has several senior centers, he noted.
“It’s been a joy going through them. I love the elderly people because I’m fast approaching that myself,” he chuckled.
A couple have read on his card that he’s the volunteer coordinator for Meals on Wheels, and some ask him for information on that, which he is delighted to pass on, he said.
He has no phone banks of people calling residents, asking them to vote for him, Wroten said.
“I don’t really care about having that kind of phone calls at my house, so I don’t have a desire to do that myself,” he said. “I try not to bother anybody later than 7 o’clock, even going door to door.”
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Paris City Council candidates Cleonne Holmes Drake and Marvin Wroten have filed the required reports documenting their campaign expenses and contributions to date.
Wroten, who is challenging District 3 incumbent John Wright, reported contributions of $350 and expenditures of $283 — including $264 for 50 24-inch by 18-inch yard signs and $19 for printing.
Wroten received $250 from Dr. Gordon B. Strom, his campaign treasurer, and $100 from Elaine Ballard.
Drake, who is challenging incumbent Edwin Pickle in District 6, reported no contributions and expenses of $936 — including $388 for 50 12-inch by 24-inch yard signs, $116 for t-shirts, $217 for 1,000 five-inch by seven-inch door-hangers, $84 for advertising, $90 in postage for letters to potential constituents, $18 for laminated posters, and $23 for printing expense.
No campaign reports were on file from the six other 2012 city council candidates – Aaron Jenkins and Don Shelton in District 1; incumbent Robert Avila and Sue Lancaster in District 2; incumbent John Wright in District 3; and incumbent Edwin Pickle in District 6.
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