PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

January 25, 2011

Production company says PA full of good news

News coming out of Port Arthur is more positive than ever, and is the result of good things happening in the city. That, and other positives, was the message delivered by representatives from Phillips Productions Inc. Tuesday during Port Arthur’s regular City Council meeting.

The Dallas-based company that produces Texas Country Reporter was hired by the city in February 2010 for an annual sum of $78,000 to market the city of Port Arthur.

“In the last several months we’ve seen more positive in the newspaper, Bob Phillips told City Council Tuesday.

Michael Grant, marketing director with Phillips Productions, provided an overview of services the company has performed during the last year.

Among those, Phillips conducted a communications audit and media training; drafted a four-page questionnaire for Port Arthur residents to fill out about their city; moderated the first community workshop; presented the Vision 2020 plan and developed a corresponding Web site; designed an online newsletter for the city’s Economic Development Corporation and introduced the concept of an anti-crime campaign.

Following the presentation, City Council voted to extend Phillips’ contract for an additional seven months, through the end of the fiscal year. The added months will cost $45,500.

Jack Chatman Jr., District 1 City Councilman, said he was encouraged by the positives coming out of Port Arthur lately.

“I am a firm believer that the tongue has the power of life and death,” Chatman said.

The number of dilapidated and abandoned buildings torn down and the amount money budgeted for city street repairs should be proof that the city is doing good things, Chatman said.

While funding to extend Phillips’ contract was included in this year’s budget, money to pay for a contract that could earn the city grant money in excess of a million dollars is not.

City Council unanimously voted to request a $34,000 budget amendment to enter into a contract with John Hall Consulting.

Hall has more than 30 years of professional experience as a top level government administrator, mediator and consultant.

Locally, he has served as facilitator of the Port Arthur Industrial Group’s Community Advisory Group and coordinator of the Environmental Justice Plan recently forged between the city of Port Arthur and the Environmental Protection Agency.

City Manager Steve Fitzgibbons said Hall’s ability to work with the EPA would be advantageous to the city.

Fitzgibbons said the city would draw on his expertise to shore up financial support from state and federal agencies to address some of the city’s most pressing challenges.

Hall would work with the city to follow up on strategies identified during November’s Environmental Justice Summit.

“If you invest $45,000 and bring in more than a million, it would be advantageous to the city,” Fitzgibbons said, adding that the city had six months to submit a proposal detailing the city’s needs.

City Council also approved:

• Setting Feb. 8 for a public hearing to consider the city’s juvenile curfew ordinance.

• Appointing Kelly Moore as acting assistant city secretary.

• Settlement from Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool in the amount of $6,800 for damages incurred to a police vehicle. The vehicle was rear-ended by an uninsured driver, and was determined a total loss.

skoonce@panews.com

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