Opinions matter in future of city

Published 9:35 am Monday, October 19, 2015

Flipping through the television channels a week or so ago, I came across the local channel airing a recent city council session. I knew it was a session that was held approximately two weeks prior, as the topics had been covered in The Port Arthur News by reporter Sherry Koonce, during that time.

Interestingly the topic was changed by a couple of city council members from city issues, to the publisher of the Port Arthur News? Of course this caught my attention so instead of looking for a more entertaining channel to enjoy my evening, I stayed right there!

They started questioning my place in the community to voice an opinion. Stating that I have only been here a couple years (3 1/2 to be specific) and what gives me the right to have an opinion on matters of community? What gives me the right to have an opinion on city council structure?

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Those who have followed my column and opinions over the past few months probably know exactly who those city council members are that were being so vocal. But I ask this in reply to those comments, “How long have you lived in Port Arthur Mr. City Councilman?”. Those in question have been life long residents of our great city, and have had their entire lives to do something about our issues or correct the course. Yet they have not! So to me, 3 ½ years seems like a better time to start rather than wait another 20.

Residents need to know that it is not wrong to hold those elected to city government positions accountable for the job they are supposed to be doing. The individuals on city council that have issues with that, well they make comments like what was on television a couple weeks ago. There is a reason they have issues with being held accountable. They know they are not doing the job that they were elected to do. And they need to understand that it takes far more than simply sitting on city council bench to be called a city councilman or councilwoman in my book.

I have mentioned in past columns that my business travels have taken me through many different communities across, not just Texas, but also our entire nation. I’ve had the opportunity to see how other city governments are structured and work as compared to those that don’t. There might have been a reason for the Port Arthur city government to be organized the way that it is at some point along the way. But that time has passed and change to city council is needed now in order to move Port Arthur in a positive direction!

This is your community as well. So be vocal! Call your city council person and tell them you want change, no matter what that change may be. Write a “letter to the editor” to run on the opinion page of The Port Arthur News. It’s not a bad thing to be vocal about what you believe.

Rich Macke is publisher of The Port Arthur News. Contact him at rich.macke@panews.com.