A city logo in need of change

Published 9:52 am Monday, September 26, 2016

Changing the image and perception of a city which has a difficult reputation of not being a flattering location for business and/or industry to move to is not an easy task. However, this is exactly what the city of Port Arthur and current city council are trying to do.

Last summer, a team comprised of both of the city manager and members of city council, began working to create a new, updated, snazzier and appealing logo for the city. Ultimately it will replace the current outdated logo that has been in place since the mid 70’s. This is definitely a much needed and welcomed change.

Using local Greater Port Arthur area marketing company, e.Sullivan Advertising & Design, the group shared their ideas with council this past Tuesday during the evening city council meeting.

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Residents will be asked to share their thoughts on the new direction of the logo by answering questioners that will be available online. Getting the input of the community and having them on board with this new direction is vital to moving forward.

Unfortunately, since this meeting, there have been some rumblings from a group of citizens voicing concerns of wasteful spending. Or, spending tax dollars for unneeded items like a new logo when the city is in much need of street repairs, an issue that has been in need of action for many years.

Hopefully we can ease some of these concerns. Citizens need to understand that the cost of this logo process was not paid for by use of their city taxes. It was paid for using Hotel/Motel tax dollars. The difference here is that taxes collected through the Hotel/Motel tax process can only be used for promoting and marketing of the city, which this falls under. Hotel/Motel tax dollars cannot be used for street repair, vehicle replacement, sewer repair or anything else that does not affect promoting and marketing of the city.

However, as for streets, Port Arthur residents have been hearing that they will be fixed for years. Every politician running for office has made that a part of their campaign platform. Yet, every year the streets just get worse and worse. So frustration by citizens is 100 percent understandable.

2017 will be the year that this will change. Over the past month, city council earmarked and approved $1.6 million dollars to cover the reconstruction of Bluebonnet, 7th Street, 8th Street and 18th Street. Citizens will begin to see work on these locations in the coming weeks.

In addition, beginning with the 2017 annual budget, the city will have approx. $11.5 million dollars allocated for street repairs each year over the next 3 to 5 years. Yes, a lot of streets can get fixed with this kind of money over this timeframe.

Citizens need to be patient as repairing roads take quite a bit more time than creating a logo. The city has a lot of irons in the fire right now creating a very difficult balancing act as they work to create a better Port Arthur. Councilman Lewis says it best, “To be a good city leader, you need to be a good cook. When you put multiple pots on the stove you have to remove them one at a time, while making sure the others don’t burn.” If patient, we will all bear witness to the great changes our new group of city leaders will bring forth to our city.