, Port Arthur, Texas

May 10, 2013

EDITORIAL: Don’t let others decide PA’s future for you; go vote

The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — If 100 people live on your block in Port Arthur, then only four of them made it to the polls during the early voting period. The other 96 people, if they don’t go out to vote on Election Day today, are simply allowing their neighbors, who they may not even know, choose who will be their mayor and council member, who will be on their school board, and what changes are made to the city charter.

Some may say it is their right not to vote, and that is true, if they are indeed making a decision to not vote. But we fear many are not voting because it is simply too much trouble. They may think their vote doesn’t make a difference. But votes do matter. Especially when so few are voting. With the low voter turnout during the early voting period and the forecast of rainy weather for Election Day, the final turnout figures could be below 10 percent — well below.

While that is a sad situation, it does give you, dear reader, a chance to have a big impact on the future of Port Arthur. We have a choice between two candidates for mayor who have outlined very different positions on how they think Port Arthur should be governed. We will be choosing members for a school board that will be selecting the next superintendent, a profoundly important decision that will affect our schools and our city for the next decade.

Don’t let them decide who should be mayor or who should be on the school board without you getting to cast your vote. The weather may not be great, but judging by early voting turnout, the lines shouldn’t be long. Go cast your ballot; your vote does make a difference.

The editorial board at The News, consisting of Rich Macke, publisher, Roger Cowles, editor, and at times reporters Sherry Koonce and Erinn Callahan, met with the candidates in the race for mayor, council and school board. We also reviewed the propositions on the ballot. The following are our recommendations:

• Mayor of Port Arthur — we think voters should return Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince for one more term.

• Port Arthur City Council District 4 — Robert Troy is clearly the best choice.

• Port Arthur ISD school trustee — Two positions are up for election and we think Robert Reid and Tracy Thomas are the best candidates.

• Propositions — Vote against 11, which would abolish the Pleasure Island Commission, and 12, which would allow EDC money to be spent for unspecified entertainment purposes. Propositions 1-10 should be approved by voters.