Paris Council to meet about boards and commissions complaint

Paris City Council will meet in special session Thursday to discuss and possibly act on a complaint about the procedure used by councilors to appoint members to the city’s boards and commissions at a June 22 meeting.

Councilors also are to consider staggering terms of new members of the Paris Economic Development Corp. at the 5:30 p.m. meeting at City Hall, 107 E. Kaufman Street.

The council will go behind closed doors to consider pending or contemplated litigation regarding Beshirs Construction.

At the June 22 meeting, the council ranked all candidates, tallied rankings and then councilors appointed the highest ranked candidates to each board and commission.

“It is anticipated that the Council will do one of three things,” City Attorney Stephanie Harris said Monday.

Those actions include one of the following:

n Use the ranking sheets from the last meeting as a means to order candidates for voting;

n Ratify the prior appointments; or,

n Choose another procedure for voting on board appointments.

“The more logical way to do this is for you all to weigh everyone — your first, second, third choice and so on — and in one ballot you are basically telling the council who you would like to see appointed,” Mayor Steve Clifford told his colleagues at the June 8 meeting before councilors voted unanimously to approve the new procedure.

In the past, councilors considered each board in alphabetical order with council members making nominations and then voting.

With the new method, boards are to be appointed in the order of applicants for each board with appointments to the Paris Economic Development Corp. made first followed by the Planning & Zoning Commission, the two most contested boards.

“No one wants to be the last person appointed, and in some cases an applicant is not ever considered for a position, which could be embarrassing,” Clifford said June 8. “I think this will encourage people to throw their hat into the ring.”

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