Hashmi concedes his reign as mayor of Paris will end next week

Mayor AJ Hashmi conceded early in Monday’s meeting of the Paris City Council that his three-year reign as mayor of the City of Paris is coming to an end.

Mayor AJ Hashmi

Mayor AJ Hashmi

“I want to thank everyone for helping me throughout my mayorship,” he said before taking the council into the regular agenda.

“Next week, my mayorship is coming to an end. I have had a very successful time, and I have enjoyed it thoroughly,” said Hashmi, who has been mayor since winning the District 7 seat on the council in 2011.

As he becomes just another member of the council, representing District 7, Hashmi said he stands ready “to assist whoever the next mayor is, in every way or form.”

All indications are that will be District 5 councilman Matt Frierson.

Hashmi had consistently enjoyed the support of council members Aaron Jenkins of District 1, Sue Lancaster of District 2, and John Wright of District 3 – and usually Cleonne Drake of District 6.

On the other hand, Frierson and District 4 councilman Dr. Richard Grossnickle have been in somewhat of an adversarial role in recent months, ending up on the wrong end of 5-2 or 4-3 votes on a number of occasions.

Victories by Benny Plata over Wright in District 3 and Edwin Pickle over Drake in District 6 in Saturday’s election have changed the balance of power. Plata and Pickle reportedly are poised to support Frierson in the council’s selection next week of a mayor for 2013-2014.

“We had a great election. I want to congratulate all of those who were successful, and I want to appreciate the service of all of those who did not succeed in the election. The beauty of elections is we have choices, and I think that is great for all of us,” Hashmi said.

Next Monday, the first order of business is certifying the election results, seating Plata and Pickle, and saying goodbye to Wright and Drake.

Hashmi, in his last act as mayor, will ask for nominations for mayor. After that vote, the gavel will change hands, and the new mayor will preside over selection of a mayor pro-tem.

Charles Richards, eParisExtra

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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.