City begins work on voter information for upcoming $45 million bond election

City manager John Godwin said the city staff will put together a brochure or pamphlet of some kind to educate voters in advance of the city’s $45 million bond election on May 11 for on replacement of the city’s deteriorating infrastructure.

Asked by Mayor AJ Hashmi if some kind of informational effort is planned, Godwin said Monday night that a city may spend money to inform the electorate but not to promote a particular outcome.

“The city may not spend money to promote a yes or no vote. The city may spend money to educate. In fact, that’s a responsibility if you’re holding a special election on a specific topic – to educate the people with factual information,” Godwin said.

“It’s real common for a city to send out a brochure, some kind of factual information so the people can vote intelligently,” the city manager said.

Godwin said he has some examples of what other cities have done toward educating the electorate on various topics.

“Our plan is to send out something about a month from now – toward the end of March, first of April,” Godwin said.

The city hired KSA engineering in late November to plan out a 10-year program of capital improvements focusing on replacing water and sewer lines that have been in place dating back before World War II.

The first meetings have set of a joint meeting between KSA and a seven-member citizen Capital Improvement Program committee appointed by the council in January.

Those meetings have been set for 5:30 p.m. at City Hall on March 7, March 20, and April 17.

It will be the committee’s function to provide guidance on the priority of various projects.

By CHARLES RICHARDS

eParisExtra.com

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Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.