Please tell us a little about yourself (current work, education, experience, background).
My name is Paul Shearin. I was born in Dallas Texas and went to Dallas schools in my elementary grades and eventually graduated from Desoto High school in 1989. I moved to Italy in 2015 and built my house on short street. I have been a Pastor for 20 years in Ellis county. I started Faith Baptist church in Red Oak from 1996-2002, I served as Pastor Harvest Baptist in Waxahachie from 2002-2014 and now am currently plantint Bible Baptist in Hillsboro.
I own and manage 2 businesses. The first is Control A/C and the second is PS Construction.
I have a HVAC license in several states and have been in the construction field my entire life. I also have a Doctorate in Theology from Texas Baptist College/Emanuel Baptist Institute. Throughout my ministry and business I have served Ellis county faithfully.
Why are you seeking to be a council member?
I am seeking to stay on council to finish the job started in correcting financial issues and make sure the communication between city and its people stay open.
What qualifications or experience do you possess that voters should consider?
When I was appointed to council a year ago we had several issues. The main was the ability to have a quorum for meetings. We had vacant seats and no one to step up and fill it. I asked for the opportunity and when appointed I was placed over administration where we have seen our financial issues improve. We worked hard to reduce spending and adjust a budget that was in serious need of help. We now, as stated in the financial report last month, have began reducing debt and have a positive cash flow and surplus in the bank. If this trend keeps going we will have a great opportunity to make some much needed repairs and meet some needs
What do you consider the most important issue facing our city today?
Our biggest issue we face is lack of communication. I would like to see the community servants working together better. From our Police and fire to schools and volunteer activities groups. Italy is too small to not have better harmony. We have issues with streets, infrastructure, taxes and a host of other things. All of them are important and we can address them if we had better communications from the top to the bottom.
What do you hope to accomplish during the next 2 years?
In the next 2 years I would like to help bridge the gaps in communication and encourage the new businesses coming into town. The broader the tax base the more we have to address the needs. I also would like to help the police chief in correcting our code enforcement issues so our officers can focus on law. I also have a plan to have volunteers help with animal control through some training classes offered through the PD. Again this allows our officers to take care of law and not nuisance things which take their time.
What do you consider the most important and least important duties a council member has?
The council members should share equally in the duties. There is not least and most. It is what needs to be done should get done. City business needs our attention. Over the last 12 months I have spent many days at city hall trying to help with street grants, PD issues, water issues, policy issues and many more. It takes time to help.
What do you think should be the top priorities of the city after this election?
After this election our top priority should be unifying the city and stop diverting the blame. Let the governing body work and the mayor should be the lead in that. We need to move past the drama and social media wars and focus on face to face and hand to hand work.
Is there anything you would want to change about the way our city is run?
I would like there to be some forum to hear feed back at our council meetings. I think, if done right and orderly, feed back at the end would benefit the council on taking temperature of the town. This could only work if people offer feedback constructively and council listens. (similar citizens comments at the beginning) at this point I am still working on how to make this work but I feel we need to have more than just 1 or 2 people offering feedback. The system is not faulty. I think the last few years our city had some people in key places and broke down communication. It can be hard to get back sometimes when trust is broken.
What do you think could be done to cut expenses in the city budget if any?
There are still some places in the budget that can be amended to save. Most of them will take some creative thinking and need grant assistance. I seen times when we were stressed to make payroll when I came and borrowed money from other departments to make it. (also stated in last meeting) Now we are able to make it and building a surplus in preparation for the next administration to be able to succeed and not be restricted.
What do you think the city should do to draw new businesses or industry to Italy?
We have opened up some great contacts with new businesses coming to town. We need to EDC money to make some of the property we own attractive to new business owners. Our infrastructure is high on that list.
What community service have you given any community in the past?
I have served on council as stated for 12 months and recently opened some affordable upscale rental property on 34. We are in the progress of phase two which will help clean up more of an eye sore and offer housing to new comers or returning folks to town. I have tried to lead by example in bringing more opportunity to Italy. I also employ some folks from here in town in my businesses.
What volunteer work have you done in the Italy Community?
I have been a giver to some of the community events and fund raisers. Both my businesses and I personally give and attend to help benefit our community. I believe in the principle of sowing and reaping.
What do you want the voters to know that they may not know?
I have been told that my biggest short coming is that I was not born and raised here, therefore people won’t trust me. I think Italy is better than that. You can easily look at my life in Ellis County and see my name is important. Am I a picture of perfect? Not by a long shot, but if we have an issue, you will find me looking to meet you face to face to correct it. I have spoken to many of you personally because I still believe in that personal attention verse social media blast!
My cell number is 9723429481. Anyone can call me with questions.