, Port Arthur, Texas

October 4, 2013

PN resets residency rule for EDC board; issue passed with 3-2 vote

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

PORT NECHES — Port Neches City Council approved a measure allowing them to  appoint non-city residents to its economic development corporation.

The amendment to the EDC’s by-laws was approved by Port Neches City Council with a 3 to 2 vote with councilmembers Robert Arnold and Roy Hollier casting the dissenting votes and councilmembers Terry Schwertner, John Davenport and Julie Gauthier voting in approval. Mayor Glenn Johnson was absent from the meeting on Thursday. PNEDC board approved the issue at its Sept. 17 meeting.

Prior to the change board members were required to be residents of the city. The new wording allows for the section of by-law to be consistent with state statute which applies to municipalities with a population of 20,000 or less.

The change states that board members may be residents of the municipality , a resident of the county in which the major part of the area of the municipality is located or reside within 10 miles of the city’s boundaries and in a county bordering the county in which most of the area of the municipality is located.

Councilmembers approve candidates to the PNEDC board, and now, with the change they can appoint non-residents within the above parameters, to the board.

Arnold and Gauthier were on opposite sides of the vote.

“I feel those who serve on a committee or branch out of council should be a resident of the city,” Arnold said of his reason for the ‘no’ vote.

Gauthier explained that she was in favor of the issue because it aligns the by-law with the state statute.

There are seven members of the PNEDC. They include: Forest Barber, Julie Gauthier, Roy Hollier, Gregory Hunt, Terry Schwertner, Dr. Scott Bartlett and Leslie Symmonds.

Barber, Gauthier and Hollier’s terms will expire Aug. 17, 2014 while Hunt, Schwertner, Bartlett and Symmonds’ terms expire Aug. 17, 2015.


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