- Real Estate
- Paris Flash
There is a Citizens’ Forum at the beginning of Paris City Council meetings, during which John Q. Public can express an opinion on problems facing the City of Paris.
And … drum roll … there is also Facebook, which has gone viral following a split vote of the Paris Economic Development Corporation board on Tuesday to give in to a split vote of the Paris City Council on June 24 to ax funding for the Red River Region Business Incubator or Rickey Hayes’ Retail Attractions from its 2013-2014 budget.
Following are comments posted Wednesday on the Facebook pages of eParisExtra, Casey Ressler and Russell Jackson in response to Jeff Parish’s story earlier in the day on eParisExtra.com:
Stuart Keys: I read it, don’t like it, but had expected it after watching things here for the last 40 years. This town does not like competition so the monopolies will win again and we will continue as we have been, driving to other towns like Sherman and Allen to spend our dollars for goods and entertainment.
Kelvin McFadden: Stupid people still running our government, you are there for the better meant for the City of Paris. Maybe it’s time Lamar County has their own and start taking these things away from Paris.
Carol Reigert Rhodes: Do I understand this right? They are not going to try to get any more business to locate here and make our city competitive with others? I hope not.
Bret Holbert: Carol, this means that PEDC will no longer have a relationship with Retail Attractions, a company that has been instrumental in bringing considerable retail businesses to Paris over the past 3 years. There is a contingent on our city council, on the PEDC board, in our community and outside it that believe that it violates the charter of PEDC to expend their budgeted moneys in attempts to attract retail to Paris, despite an AG’s decision to the contrary. Paris should have a balance of retail and industry. They have a symbiotic relationship. One needs the other. And the charter of PEDC allows them to expend a marginal amount of money in efforts to attract retail business. Paris will suffer due to this decision.
Leisa Jaynes Chapman: Well, bad news for Lamar County, but good news for Sherman and others. They will continue to get. Our business and money!
Sarah Vaughn: One of the good things they had going for PEDC. Sigh.
Casey Ressler: This is a sad direction we are taking here, folks. The city council has effectively told a board what decision to make. Not a good precedent in my opinion.
Clint McMillan: I’ve always heard that in every town, there is a group of old people that have to “die off” before progress can take place. I hope that is not the case for Paris, but …
Victor Bridewell: God forbid Paris turn into a city where people actually want to stay and spend their money.
Michael J Osterbuhr Jr.: Damn and things just started happening!
Brandon Bell: Complete coup of the PEDC Board. Gilbert has been pivotal in attracting business to Paris. He will find a new job before the end of the year. Way to go Mayor, et al.
Bret Holbert: The worst thing we can do at this point is present an image of dissention and strive within the council and the PEDC. This move, and the accompanying rhetoric, does just that. There appears to be a coup in place with regard to PEDC. Paris will suffer as the result.
Brandon Chadwick: Though I don’t live there any longer, I still love Paris, and to see the narrow-minded thinking that continues to keep the city from progressing really bothers me. Growth is inevitable and will be good for competitive balance. Will it hurt the small business owner? Probably, but will it better the overall quality of the town? Yes. Seems like groups should be looking at is what is best for the majority not the vocal minority that has money.
Casey Ressler: Generally speaking, retail development won’t hurt small business. Competition is good for everyone. I have a large problem with the city council dictating to boards what they should or should not do based on assumptions of select few. It’s like watching a train wreck.
Josh Russell: This doesn’t affect us directly, but the board sets a dangerous precedent here allowing others to ultimately decide. Why even have a board if the members fail to make an informed and unbiased decision? Complete and utter fail. _ Josh.
Casey Ressler: It’s important as well to look at this in context. If you look at the board appointments and previous discussion on this topic, it seems there is some kind of agenda.
Brandon Chadwick: I agree the competition would be good. My example would be more along the lines of would The Fish Fry want to see Red Lobster open up on the loop, or would the baby boutiques downtown want to see Babys-R-Us open up shop. They would have to be more competitive, which would be great for the consumer but the small guys will be fighting for the dollars that used to just fall into their lap because of lack of options. I am all for the growth of the town though but not everyone sees it the way we do either, which i think goes back to Clint’s point.
Brandon Chadwick: At the end of the day, I would love to see Paris grow. I feel it would open up tons of opportunity for people, I have always wanted to move back, but to be honest, there isn’t opportunity to do what I do in Paris, and it is due largely to lack of industry.
Casey Ressler: For the record not all city councilmen were for all of this. Mr. Frierson, and Dr. Grossnickle were against.
Victor Bridewell: When we came here this place was a hole (more so than now). All you had was agriculture, industry, and a church on every corner. Now we have some of that industry remaining, a church, and a Subway on every corner. Is it so bad to want to see something new happen here? Sure it puts added pressure on the local shops, but added pressure is better than nothing when you lose all of your local shopping income to cities like Sherman and the McKinney/Plano/Allen areas. Just once it would be nice to open a newspaper to read about some new, previously out of reach business opening, instead of the never ending budget arguments, council gripes, and reoccurring city manager searches we always have to look forward to.
Russell Jackson: The decision was unfortunate on many levels. This will hinder economic growth in our community. The city council would be foolish not to pick up the contract with the increase in tax revenue that it would provide the city, the county, and the schools. I won’t be holding my breath.
Victor Bridewell: Maybe they just hate money…
Kevin Cannon: I am a shop owner and I would love to see more businesses here that would bring more people who may just happen to come downtown and shop in my store. More businesses = more people shopping in our city/county = more tax revenue. I don’t get what is so hard to understand about this…..other than there is still a group somewhere out there that want to keep us small for whatever reason. It doesn’t make sense to me.
Casey Ressler: Good to hear from a local small businessman!
Kevin Cannon: A lot of us feel this way….especially our age group. If Paris is going to survive, we need something more than just industry. When people work in our “big industry” and bring their families here to live, they want to bring them to something. We would love to be able to shop here in Paris more but we head to McKinney most of the time.
James Wright: Sounds like some folks need to be voted out. Time for young blood to take over so our young people will have a place to work that pays good money.
Sheila Davis: Amen, if that is what needs to happen.
Zach Saffle: As much as I like reading everyone’s opinion on Facebook, they won’t make any difference if you don’t contact your mayor, council person, and PEDC members. Let them know how you feel, one way or the other.
Matt Frierson: Russell Jackson, I ran across this tonight and felt the need to re-post in light of yesterday’s PEDC vote to strike legal retail recruitment from the upcoming budget. While all members get their vote, as a taxpayer I think it’s important all citizens show their feelings…pro or con on this issue. It’s not about harming existing businesses here in the community. It’s about promoting growth and keeping dollars coming into Paris. The potential return on investment is overwhelming and your description below is right on the money:
“Russell Jackson: Our community is at an extremely important crossroad with regard to economic development. We have experienced a great deal of success over the last three to four years. Rickey Hayes and Retail Attractions have been a big part of that success, as has Steve Gilbert. Both of these men have contributed to making a town that I love an even better place for us all. Rickey had the opportunity to present to the community exactly what he does for us and what’s at stake if he’s no longer employed to do so. He came at the request of Matt Frierson, who has tirelessly worked to promote economic development as a member of the city council. Here’s what’s at stake on just one deal that Retail Attractions is working on currently: increased property taxes on a projected $30,000,000 investment in new property (for one large development that has current committed tenants) for the City of Paris – $153,000 annually, for PISD – $436,500 annually, for PJC – $56,100, and for Lamar County – $131,640. In addition to this increase in property taxes, sales tax on projected gross sales of $40,000,000 would be $500,000 annually into the City of Paris budget and an additional $100,000 annually into the PEDC budget which can then be utilized to incentivize the primary job providers that we all agree are extremely important to bring to our community. Friends, it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that’s one great return on an investment of $33,000. Promoting our community to industry and retail is not an either/or proposition. We can, and should, promote our community to all who would provide jobs and improve our quality of life. As a good friend of mine, John Parum, likes to say, “you’d have to have rocks in your head” not to see the clear benefit of retaining Retail Attractions to our community.”
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra