Griffin resignation discussed at meeting

By GARY HENRY ghenry@prairiepress.net
Posted 11/22/21

Commissioner Drew Griffin’s resignation from the Paris City Council was a topic of discussion at the city’s pre-agenda meeting Wednesday, Nov. 17. Action on the resignation will be taken …

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Griffin resignation discussed at meeting

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Commissioner Drew Griffin’s resignation from the Paris City Council was a topic of discussion at the city’s pre-agenda meeting Wednesday, Nov. 17. Action on the resignation will be taken during the Monday, Nov. 22, meeting.

Griffin resigned from the elected office Nov. 12.

“I’d like to make a statement on that,” said Mayor Craig Smith.

The mayor confirmed Griffin purchased and moved to a house just outside city limits after being elected as a commissioner. He did not resign at that time. Smith, who is an attorney, reviewed the situation with city attorney Rich Kash, and they determined it was neither necessary for Griffin to resign nor for the council to address the issue.

“There is a lot of case law on filling a vacancy, but not on establishing a vacancy,” said Smith.

According to Smith, Griffin’s home is within eyesight of the city corporate limits, and he maintains a business in Paris that employs city residents. He added Griffin is active in community affairs and made a valuable contribution as a city commissioner.

Griffin’s decision, Smith said, is indicative of his desire to do what his best for Paris.

“He thought it was better to not put the city in a position for a lawsuit by certain individuals who are good at suing, but not necessarily at winning,” said Smith. “I don’t believe they would have won this case.”

Commissioners Jerry Branson, Harry Hughes and Paul Ruff echoed the mayor’s observations saying they were sorry Griffin decided to resign. Several members of the audience approached Griffin after the meeting and thanked him for his time on the city council and expressed regrets he will not continue to serve.

Smith closed the discussion on Griffin’s resignation by saying, “Drew was legally elected. I didn’t see a reason why he should not have served out his term.”

The city’s insurance agent J.R. Abernathy briefly discussed the premium increase the city is facing for the next year. He warned the city is not well positioned to seek bids hoping for a lower expense.

“Carriers look at a five-year loss history,” said Abernathy. “The current five-year history is not good.”

He noted 2021 has been a good year for claims and if 2022 is the same, they city will be more attractive to bidders in the future.