Paris City Council will go behind closed doors twice at a Monday meeting to discuss the separation and possible termination of City Manager John Godwin, according to an agenda posted shortly after 9 a.m. today by City Clerk Janice Ellis.

The council meets for a special session at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, 107 E. Kaufman St.

The first closed meeting is to discuss “separation with the city manager” followed by an open session agenda item “possibly to take action on those matters discussed in executive session.”

Council is to then “discuss and possibly act on a resolution regarding the suspension and removal of the city manager.”

Moving again behind closed doors, the council is to consider “the appointment of a qualified person to perform the duties of the office manager,” and then in open session, discuss and possibly act on a resolution appointing that person.

On Monday council suspended Godwin on a 4-2 vote with Mayor Steve Clifford and councilors Linda Knox, Paula Portugal and Clayton Pilgrim voting for suspension and Derrick Hughes and Renae Stone against. Bill Trenado was absent.

“I regret this is happening because I enjoy living here, and I would like to finish the job we have started,” Godwin said this morning. “I don’t like the decision, but I respect the system.”

Godwin made no comment about plans for a public hearing but did decline to resign and indicated he would ask for a public hearing, Clifford said Monday.

The Paris City Charter requires the suspension of a city manager to be by resolution “approved by a majority vote of the total membership of the council.”

At the hearing, the city manager will have 30 minutes to respond to his proposed termination, according to the charter. Members of the public will be allowed to speak and may address any aspect of the city manager’s performance.

“After the hearing, or after 15 days if the manager has not responded to the request to resign, and after full consideration, the council, by a majority vote of its total membership, shall adopt a final resolution of removal or reinstatement,” the charter states.

The city manager shall continue to receive full salary until the effective date of a resolution of removal or reinstatement.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at mary.madewell@theparisnews.com.

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