Moses, Prop 7 deserve support; let your vote count on election day

Published 11:47 am Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tuesday is election day in Texas. No, it’s not the election for which Republican and Democratic candidates have been holding debates. That one’s still a year away. This is the one in which Port Arthur voters will decide who fills the Position 7 City Council seat vacated by Derrick Freeman when he announced he was going to run for mayor and Texas voters will decide the fate of seven proposed amendments to the state constitution.

In the Port Arthur council race, four candidates are vying for the at-large seat. They include Antoine Leonard Freeman Sr., a Port Arthur attorney; Thomas J. Henderson, retired and a former council member; Charlotte Moses, a business woman, pastor and a former member of the Economic Development Corporation board of directors; and Reginald Trainer, a locksmith whose state license has been called into question.

We believe Charlotte Moses is the best choice for Port Arthur voters. She demonstrates the leadership skills needed by running her business, Global Drug and Alcohol, and through her role as executive pastor of Christian Faith Missionary Baptist Church. Her role on the EDC board has given her insight into what it takes to bring new companies and jobs to Port Arthur. She is committed to working in cooperation with the city manager in a collaborative effort with other members of the council. She understands that there is a cost to the bickering and discord on council and that Port Arthur can’t afford that cost.

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Moses came under attack in unsigned pamphlets over the weekend for her role in Love at Work Academy, which provided assistance with federal funds to at-risk youth after Hurricane Rita. She freely admits to making mistakes and says it was a learning experience but denies mismanagement or anything criminal associated with the funds. John Dubose, who was on the Regional Planning Commission board at the time, also declined to characterize the program’s administration as mismanagement. And if there were anything that seemed like criminal use of the funds, the federal government would have filed charges. There were no charges filed. She was working to help Port Arthur youth at a crisis point for the city when someone needed to step forward and help.

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Of the proposed constitutional amendments, Proposition 7 is critical to the future of our roads and bridges in Texas. It would dedicate $2.5 billion annually of existing sales tax revenues to the state highway fund in 2018, an amount that is expected to grow to $3 billion annually by 2021. The funds can be used only for new construction and highway system maintenance. Without Prop 7, highway funding will continue to fall behind state population growth. Vote “Yes” on Prop 7 to provide the Texas Department of Transportation the resources to plan, built and maintain a highway system necessary for economic growth the keep pace with population growth.

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Turnout is key, both in Port Arthur and statewide, for “we, the people” to have our say on election day. The Port Arthur turnout for a contested city council race was about 5 percent of registered voters in the early voting period. We’ll be lucky to have another 5 percent turn out on election day, leaving important decisions about our future in the hands of probably fewer than 10 percent of eligible voters. Voting is easy and the polling locations are convenient. If you didn’t vote early, take some time today to go to the polls and cast for vote for the future of Port Arthur and the future of Texas.