Four applicants submit paperwork for city council’s upcoming appointment to unexpired term on PEDC

Four persons have submitted applications to city clerk Janice Ellis to be considered by the Paris City Council on Monday night for appointment to an unexpired term on the Paris Economic Development Corporation.

city_of_paris_logoBill Harris has resigned, effective April 1, with 27 months remaining on the 3-year term to which he was appointed last June.

The people interested in replacing Harris are:

  • Vic Ressler, owner/broker of Century 21 Executive Realty since 1981;
  • Rickey Richardson, owner for the past 17 years of Champion Motors, and a member of the Paris ISD board of trustees,
  • Rebecca Clifford, a certified public accountant for more than 35 years and the wife of Paris radiologist Steve Clifford, and
  • Kenneth Kohls, former city councilman and retired since 2008 as the longtime co-owner of Office Equipment Center. He now serves on the city’s traffic commission.

Anyone else interested in the appointment may find pick one up by noon Monday from the city clerk at the city hall annex, at 150 SE First St. or by going to

Harris said last week he is stepping down to avoid a conflict of interest. The PEDC’s legal advice comes from the city attorney’s office, and Harris’ wife, Stephanie, has just become assistant city attorney, replacing John Lestock, who retired.

Because of the February death of PEDC board chairman Doug Wehrman, Harris’ resignation would leave the PEDC with a bare quorum of three members should the council not act right away.

Because Wehrman’s term is due to end in June, the council is waiting until June to take care of that at the same time they fill make all the other new appointments to city boards and commissions.

Holdover PEDC board members are Bruce Carr and Kenny Dority, whose terms run through June 30, 2014, and Toni Clem, who was appointed with Harris last June to terms that run through June 30, 2015.

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About the Author

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.