- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
Allen Moore, 58, a Realtor for Nathan Bell Realtors, is a candidate for the District 4 seat on the Paris City Council.
He is running for the seat vacated by Steve Brown, who is completing his second two-year term on the council and is barred by the City Charter from serving a third consecutive term.
Moore lives at 2870 Cypress Drive with his wife, Kay, whom he describes as “absolutely the sweetest lady in the whole wide world, truly the best gift I’ve ever had from God.” She is a dental hygienist who works one day a week for each of several different dentists in Paris and the surrounding area.
In a question-and-answer interview, he discussed various topics and why he is running for the council:
Question: You’re not a native of Paris. How did you end up here?
Answer: I grew up in Houston and worked for Exide Corporation and traveled for them over most of the United States. Batteries is what they were most prominently known for, even though we also did chargers, booster cables, and so forth. I started as a salesman and went from that to regional manager to a director and finally vice president of sales and marketing. It was just self-taught. I figured out then that if I worked harder than everybody else, I can get the job done.
Q: You moved to Paris when the company promoted you to a management position at its plant in Cooper?
A: Yes, I came to Paris in 2000, and I joined Nathan Bell Realtors in 2004 when Exide sold the plant in Cooper and I stayed here rather than move with the company to Atlanta. I’ve been selling real estate in Paris ever since and have absolutely enjoyed it. You couldn’t blast me out of here with dynamite. Paris is about the right speed. You’ve got good people, people know everybody. You talk to your neighbors – try that in some of the big cities – it doesn’t happen. The big cities have quantity, we have quality.
Q: So, what prompted you to run for the City Council?
A: During my 20 years with Exide, the last half of that was as a divisional vice president, so it gave me a lot of budget responsibilities, and a lot of exposure to finances and management. Through the Continuing Education Department at Paris Junior College, I teach Microsoft Excel, Power Point, Word, and Access. I have taught “Welcome to the World of Computers,” which is basic computing, to the seniors over at Prime Time. I also teach defensive driving through PJC. From that background, I feel I have something to offer the city.
Q: Any particular goals or objectives you have, should you be elected?
A: The only agenda I have is to be open and objective. I’m not part of any clique or political interest group. I’m an average person who cares about the city of Paris. I’m interested in seeing it operate as smoothly and effectively as it can.
Q: Some people complain that taxes are too high. But cutting taxes probably mean cutting services. Where are you in that equation?
A: You know, taxes do seem high, but so does the quality of service that we’re getting. From what I’ve seen, for the most part, our city workers deserve a handshake and a “Thank you.” We’ve got some awesome people down at the city who are doing the best they can with what they have to work with. People always seem to say “We need to cut, we need to cut,” but I can’t think of anything I’d like to do without. I just got back in early February from a three-week missionary trip to Kenya, over in Africa, where you see what “cut” is. In the rural villages there, they don’t have trash pickup. They don’t have water. They don’t have electricity. But hey, they have no taxes. So you can see what no taxes gets you. Yes, I would rather pay less taxes, but I would not like to cut any of the services – any of the quality services we have.
Q: So you’re not running because you’re unhappy with the way things are going in Paris.
A: That’s absolutely correct. I do wish we could keep a city manager, but I also think, OK, here’s the criteria that you set for him, and you measure him against that criteria. If he’s above it, he’s doing a good job and you keep him. If he’s not measuring up to the criteria, then we may need to make a change. Now, to make a change because, hey, I want to do something different – what’s that old adage, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it? I’m slow on change. With my background, I think I could help find a good city manager. We will need to find a good manager and then let him manage. The council’s job is to kind of direct, and steer him in the ways that things need to be, for the greater good of the city.
Q: The city council has been split 4-3 on some key issues lately. How a new council member votes could swing the result one way or the other.
A: I will let the numbers, or my understanding of the person or the situation, dictate what my vote is. I’m not someone who is heavily influenced by what everybody else does. You do what’s right, and it’s OK to have a different opinion. Everybody’s got an opinion, what’s wrong is to not express that opinion and just go along with the flow. I could be the “one” in a 6-to-1 decision if I believed strongly that that particular situation is wrong, or if it’s right and nobody else agreed with me.
Q: How do you feel about privatization of trash?
A: If I could go out and give my trash man a hug everytime he drove by, I would do it. On Mondays, I’m supposed to put out this, and I’m limited to this, and on Thursdays I can put out this – I don’t keep up with all that. I can put something out and they pick it up. I mean, again, it’s not broke. Well, somebody says we can save a lot of money by privatizing the trash pickup. OK, what’s going to happen to all this trash equipment we have? What’s going to happen to all the employees? If there was a substantial savings and the employees were taken care of, I’d just have to look at the numbers and see. I do think that with something like this, you let the people vote on it. I think the council should get the numbers together so the people can make an educated decision, and then let them decide.
Q: You are a member of one of the city boards. Talk about that.
A: I am on the city’s Board of Adjustment, and I love it, absolutely love it, because it’s case by case. Our board is where someone comes when they want to do something that some city code says they cannot do, and they ask us to give them a variance. At our last meeting, somebody wanted to put a little covered porch over their front door, so that when they open their door and it’s raining, they’re not standing out there in the rain. Well, that little porch was inside the easement, so technically, you should say, “No, sorry, we’ve got to have this much space.” Well, obviously that extra three feet was going to benefit them, and it was going to make the house look more attractive, so it would improve the neighborhood. So in a situation like that, we told them, “Sure, build your porch. Now, don’t take the porch out to the street. Stay with the plan you submitted, and we’ll be good with that.” Now, just because somebody asks for a variance does not mean they’re going to get it. You know, if someone wants a bigger sign because they think it’s going to bring them more business, I think they might want to improve their business and let word of mouth do it.
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