PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

March 8, 2013

Mayor Prince: 'This is my home'

Brooke Crum
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince is not finished being the mayor of Port Arthur.

Prince, 68, filed for re-election in January alongside District 4 Councilman Harold Doucet and Port Arthur native Lowra Harrison. She has been the mayor for the past six years and served as councilwoman for three years prior to that.

“We’ve done a lot of great things in the last six years,” she said, “and I want to continue being a part of the changes here in Port Arthur.”

Some of the accomplishments Prince cited that the city has tackled since she fulfilled the position of mayor in 2007 included expanding the fire and police forces, bringing new businesses to the area and constructing a health clinic on the West Side with the help of donations from Valero Energy Corp. And don’t forget the targeted infrastructure improvements and demolition of dangerous commercial and residential buildings that have occurred along the way.

“As a whole, the city has been blessed,” Prince said. “We just have a lot of work we need to continue to do, and I’d like to be a part of that process.”

Prince was actively involved in securing the funds that made the construction of the health clinic on the West Side possible, traveling to Washington D.C. on at least one occasion to ensure the city received that money, she said.

But Prince understands that she is just one cog in the complex gearwheel that keeps the city moving. Nothing is done individually, she said, but with the cooperation of a plethora of people.

“It’s a collective thing that we do, and even collectively that can be a challenge,” she said. “But you continue to work on it.”

One project that has involved many parties coming together was the planned relocation and demolition of the Carver Terrace Apartments, the public housing complex on the West Side that has been slotted for demolition since July. The city is about to see the apartments come down after more than half a century of its occupying a slice of land in the shadow of the Valero Port Arthur Refinery.

“It’s a big deal,” Prince said.

There is, of course, more work to be done. Prince wants to see the city complete more street improvements and demolition of dangerous structures whenever it can locate enough funding to do so, she said. But before that can happen, the people who run Port Arthur would need to start working together better.

“I would like to see all of the entities in Port Arthur come together,” Prince said. “We have wonderful people serving on boards, but I’d like to see us come together and work as a body.”

If the various boards that operate within the city would get together and share ideas and resources on how to improve Port Arthur, then they could make life better for the people who live here, she said.

“I enjoy helping people. I enjoy trying to make their lives better,” Prince said. “I love this city, and I spend as much time as I possibly can making this city better.

“This is my home,” she said. “And I don’t think there’s a greater city anywhere.”

Prince attended Lincoln High School and Lamar University. She retired from DuPont prior to her political service with the city.

email: bcrum@panews.com

twitter: @broocrum