• 77°

Delta Sigma Theta honors Mayor Prince

By Roger Cowles

The News editor

Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince plans to bring all the elected entities in the area together to learn what each can bring to the table to improve the city.

“I don’t know why it hasn’t been done,” Prince said Sunday at a banquet hosted by the Port Arthur Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. to honor the mayor and recognize other black women holding elected positions.

“There are no road blocks” to bringing the Port Arthur City Council, the Port of Port Arthur board of commissioners and the school boards from Port Arthur and Sabine Pass independent school districts together in a meeting to see what each entity could offer and how they could work together for the betterment of the entire city, Prince said.

Members from some of those entities — PAISD Trustees Willie Mae Elmore, Dr. Mattie Londow and Lloyd Marie Johnson, and Port Commissioner Linda Spears — joined Mayor Prince in receiving recognition at the Holiday Inn-Park Central in a program called “Delta Presents … The Honorable Deloris “Bobbie” Prince and Other Elected African-American Women.”

Prince said that Friday she was blessed to become the mayor of the city with the largest refinery in the U.S., referring to the announcement by Motiva Enterprises that expansion of the Port Arthur refinery had been approved, meaning an investment of between $3 and $7 billion in Port Arthur.

“That means a change in the master plan,” Prince said. “We have a shortage of housing. We are working on that shortage,” she said. “Mrs. Doris Gill is working with training programs,” at Lamar State College-Port Arthur and through the Texas Workforce Commission so local residents can be qualified for the jobs the expansion will create.

“While it is encouraging to see all the new businesses coming into this area, we need programs so our own citizens can start businesses to take advantage of all the wealth coming into our city,” she said.

“With this expansion comes other issues to address. One is to keep our people safe,” she said, mentioning her work with police and fire officials to plan for needs that will be created by the influx of workers into the area.

“We will continue to demolish abandoned homes that become havens for drugs and criminal activities,” she said.

“I’m going to continue to try to find private investment to come into the West Side of Port Arthur,” she said. “The widening of West Seventh Street will help bring in new business.”

Turning her attention to the downtown area, she pointed out the area’s water resources.

“Why don’t we have our own Kemah?” she asked, mentioning the popular dining and resort area on the other side of Galveston. “We shouldn’t have to travel to Galveston for cruise lines. We could have facilities in Sabine Pass,” she said.

She also said residents must not forget that Sabine Pass is still struggling to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Rita.

Sunday’s program was organized by the Political/Social Action Committee of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority chaired by Dr. Verlie Mitchell. Chapter President Naomi Bailey gave the welcome and presented framed certificates to the honorees.