. . . . On May 6th, voters inside the Paris city limits will vote on two city bond propositions, the maturity of which is not to exceed 20-years:

  1. Proposition 1, if approved, is for the purpose of “constructing, improving, extending, expanding, upgrading, and developing streets and roads, bridges and intersections including utility relocation, landscaping, sidewalks, traffic safety and operational improvements, the purchase of necessary right-of-way, drainage and other related costs…”
  2. Proposition 2 authorizes “improving and equipping parks, trails and recreational facilities…”

Voter approval of either or both propositions also gives the City of Paris the authority “to levy and cause to be assessed and collected annual ad valorem taxes in an amount sufficient to pay the annual interest on the bonds and provide a sinking fund to pay the bonds at maturity.”

Early voting is from Monday, April 24 through Tuesday, May 2, 2017.

The Paris Chamber doesn’t believe that most city voters, and even the council members offering both propositions for approval, actually believe that the bonds – and 20-years of interest on them – will solve most local problems or create new opportunities.

So, if not, regardless of how good it sounds, aren’t we just playing at doing the right thing?

Sure, it may create an immediate or short-term perception that Paris is making some progressbut it seems similar to a brand of thinking by a previous director of the PEDC who wanted that organization to construct a “speculative” building, claiming it would show people that they were making progress.  A meaningless, fuzzy kind of doing something.

Doing the right thing is never a long-term liability.

Absolutely, the Paris Chamber appreciates the thought – but doing something is not aways a step in the right direction. Most often, taking a wrong step is easier.

For years, Paris’ modus operandi has been doing something, and what has that actually accomplished?

Inside the Loop, almost three-fourths of the city is in a designated distressed area. No, this isn’t just our opinion: The Paris Enterprise Zone covers almost three-fourths of the land mass within the city limits, and such zones – by law – are designated distressed areas.

Currently, overall, dozens of old, narrow streets need widening; neighborhood initiatives should start immediately; needed community amenities identified; realistic, on-going beautification efforts set forth; equal economic opportunities created; worthwhile jobs provided; and ways to do, fix, or provide and pay for all of this should be determined and agreed on – before we do anything that will not accomplish these things or make significant inroads on them.

Sadly, $10 or $11 million won’t make a dent in what Paris needs, on what we should be doing.

But there’s no vision.

Consider: In January of this year, the city refused to even discuss a proposal that would have provided ways for the city to pay – without a tax increase – for these propositions, and more, every year, for the foreseeable future.

We’re nickel and dime-ing our way into debt and the result will be little-to-nothing to show for it.

And like Dallas, we’ll be begging the state to pay our debts.