City elections can mean change

Published 4:08 pm Monday, February 6, 2017

Since May of 2016 citizens across our great city have been speaking up. Voicing their opinion for change. They want their city council to work together and move Port Arthur forward like never seen before.
This newfound voice comes from years of frustrations from citizens having seen little to no movement on their behalf. Continual public bickering, political grandstanding and personal agendas became a regular embarrassment to the community and became commonplace on council over the years.
Citizens desire for needed change became very real when Port Arthur residents elected new Mayor, Derrick Freeman May of 2016. With the belief that his personality could pull council together to work for the city instead of fight against it, and youthful vision to create a Port Arthur we can all be proud of, PACC was well on its way.
Then during the November presidential election, citizens overwhelmingly passed a charter change that would see PACC reduce its number of district seats from 9 to 7. Eliminating overlapping district seats 5 and 6, which will be removed in May of 2018.
This move put into action concerns by citizens that PACC had too many district seats for the size of our community.  This move also helped reduce expenses by eliminating the financial obligations of both seats, which is approximately $3,000 monthly.
In the upcoming May 6th election the Port Arthur City Council will have six district seats up for grabs. Those being Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and Positions 7 and 8. Following the mindset citizens have started in past elections I would expect this one to be no different. To seek a better city council that works together and for the citizens of our community. How we vote and who for will be extremely important to continue this progress.
Hopefully residents won’t have to endure watching political attacks from one candidate at another, but I doubt that will be the case. History has shown that mentality is eminent with some in Port Arthur. However this should be something we watch for as well. A candidate whow runs a mud slinging campaign will most certainly be a mud slinging city councilman or woman that creates controversy and gridlock. Do we really need that on council, I don’t think so? So keep a close eye on that.
To help residents stay informed on candidates over the next few months, we plan to meet with each and share our thoughts. Seek to find out their views and goals for the community, are they combative or can they work with others through objections and what does a successful community look like to them are but a few topics.
Ultimately each and every one of us has a say in the direction of our city. It is our right to vote for whom we think will be able to do what is needed on behalf of everyone.

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