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Paris City Council selects seven-member citizens advisory committee on $50 million capital improvement program

By CHARLES RICHARDS

eParisExtra.com

A seven-person citizens advisory committee was named Monday night by the Paris City Council to provide guidance on the order in which projects should be undertaken as part of a 10-year, $50 million capital improvement program.

Named by the respective Paris City Council members were:

  • Stevie Jackson, 1211 MLK Drive, owner of Smooth Construction (by District 1 councilman Aaron Jenkins).
  • Ruth Ann Alsobrook, 208 5th St. SW, government instructor at Paris Junior College (by District 2 councilwoman Sue Lancaster),
  • Bobby Smallwood, 3116 Stillhouse Road, owner of Bobby Smallwood Construction (by District 3 councilman John Wright),
  • J.D. Davidson, 1920 Silverleaf Drive, publisher of The Paris News (by District 4 councilman Dr. Richard Grossnickle),
  • Brad Archer, 537 6th St. SE, director of business development for Harrison, Walker & Harper LP (by District 5 councilman Matt Frierson), and
  • Cheyney Bryan, 5721 FM 79, owner of Bryan Fence Company (by District 6 councilwoman Cleonne Drake),
  • Charles Richards, 3820 Castlegae Drive, writer for eParisExtra.com (by District 7 councilman AJ Hashmi),i

“The purpose of this committee is not to go before the civic clubs and educate them about the vote in the May special election on the bond issue. It is not that committee. The purpose of this committee is to provide some direction on the order in which projects should be undertaken,” the mayor said.

Mayor AJ Hashmi
Mayor AJ Hashmi

KSA Engineering is working up the plan along with the city engineer, and they have the expertise to determine the projects, but I would say to the members of this committee that they don’t know the town like you do,” Hashmi added.

Because members of the committee live here, they have the pulse of the people and are in a better position to judge if maybe a project scheduled for Year 2 should be moved up and done right away, he said.

“They may want to do something (in east Paris) that is quite necessary, but you can say, ‘You know what, northwest and southwest Paris have suffered for a long time and the residents over there need to be felt part of the town. We would like you to do this project over there first,’ “ Hashmi said.

Before taking each council member’s appointments to the committee, the mayor stressed the importance of there being no conflicts of interest on their being on the committee.

“The last thing we want at this point is to have any kind of issue in that regard, so please make sure there are no conflicts of interest. We want all of the committee’s decisions to be completely transparent,” Hashmi said.

Wright, in nominating Smallwood, added: “I would like to clarify that his doing some of the city’s sidewalk work will not be a conflict.”

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