By Mike Genet
In his last official act Monday as an Independence city council member, Myron Paris voted his approval for an emergency ordinance authorizing a special election to fill the District 3 seat he is vacating.
Paris has held the seat since 2008, and he ran unopposed in 2012. Whoever wins the special election April 8 next year – the date called for in the ordinance – will fill his term until 2016.
Paris, whose wife died several weeks ago after a long battle with Alzheimers’, is hampered by knee and back and issues and said he will soon move to Florida, where the year-round warm weather will be better for his health.
“Before I was on council we spent the winter there for eight years,” Paris said after Monday’s meeting. “I know people down there.
“All my life, I’ve been involved in people problems, starting in 1962,” he said, referring to when he worked at General Motors and served on a union committee. “It’s time for a something different.”
Paris thanked the people he had the opportunity to serve, as well as the city staff who made it easier for him to fulfill his position.
“It’s been an honor, and one I won’t forget,” he said.
Before Paris spoke, several council members praised him. Chris Whiting recalled a meeting with Paris at a Panera Bread to discuss Whiting’s consideration of running for council – a discussion that got interrupted several times.
“Not only did everyone know Myron, they wanted to talk with him,” he said.
“As a human being, he’s as good as it gets,” Jim Schultz added.
“You get better quit, or I’ll start crying,” Paris quipped.
Mayor Don Reimal said he probably has known Paris longer than anyone in the room, being a neighbor of his.
“He’s an asset to the neighborhood, the council and the city,” Reimal said.
Nomination petitions and other materials related to the special election will be available Oct. 1 in the city clerk’s office. The first day for filing those petitions is Oct. 28 (8 a.m.), and the last day to file is Nov. 22 (5 p.m.).
The deadline to withdraw is 5 p.m. Nov. 25. If there are more than two candidates, a special primary election will be held Feb. 4, 2014, before the special general election April 8.
At the beginning of Monday’s meeting, Johnna Bodenstab, immediate past president of the Junior Service League, presented the 2013 Susan Paxton Block Award to Kimberly Bailey, a desk clerk for the records department of the Indepedence Police Department. Bailey received a plaque and a medal.
“I’ve never won anything this big before, so I’m very honored,” Bailey said.