PA City Council getting ready for firefighters’ negotiations

Published 5:14 pm Monday, July 17, 2017

The city of Port Arthur is making preparations for give and take discussions with some first responders.

The Port Arthur City Council will consider appointing a negotiation team for collective bargaining with The International Association of Firefighter Local 397 of the city of Port Arthur when they meet for their regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18 at city hall, 444 Fourth St. in Port Arthur.

The resolution read the city manager, director of human resources, assistant director of finance-accounting, city attorney, assistant city manager and outside legal counsel are designated to conduct collective bargaining on behalf of the city with the firefighters. The city manager is designated the chief spokesperson.

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A letter from the Local 397 to the city read: “Under the statute provisions we the parties have an obligation to meet at a reasonable time and bargain in good faith, we therefore respectfully request that at your earliest convenience, you notify us of available dates for such purpose.

“It is our hope that now as in the past we will, through good faith negotiations, reach a successful and mutually beneficial agreement.”

The Council will also consider applying for the Fiscal Year 2018 Rifle Resistant Body Armor Grant.

The background of an interoffice memorandum read this is in response to the July 7th, 2016 shooting of police officers in Dallas. Senate Bill 12 passed during the 85th Legislature Regular Session and Gov. Greg Abbott signed it into law on May 27, 2017 that authorized the Criminal Justice Division of the governor’s office to create a grant program to assist agencies in the purchase of rifle-resistant body armor.

There is no match requirement under this program.

The Council will consider amending the wreckers for hire policy with regard to the non-preference rotation system of the code of ordinances of the city.

Willie “Bae” Lewis Jr., District 5 Councilman, requested the City Council amendment pertaining to the number of wrecker business permit holder on the nonconsent/nonpreference rotation list in the city.

The current number of wrecker business permit holder on the list is 15 and the list is currently full.

The Council approved chief of police, Patrick Melvin, to issue a wrecker business permit to Felix AAA Auto Salvage at 6375 West Port Arthur Rd. at their meeting on July 11.

Herbert Felix Sr., owner of Felix AAA, spoke at last month’s City Council meeting he has been trying to get his license since 1990. The city council approved proceeding to authorize the chief of police to issue a wrecker permit for the business.

He said he has filled out numerous applications with the city, but he was given the runaround. His applications were constantly misplaced over the years. The application would become outdated by the time a public hearing was scheduled with the city council.

Under petitions and communications on the agenda, John Darrington will speak regarding City Council and Marvin A. Smith will speak regarding talking to state representatives.

Anne Burger Entrekin of Hilltop Securities regarding an update on bonds for street improvements.

James Noteware and Wea Lee with Noteware Advisors regarding redevelopment of downtown Port Arthur.

And Lewis will give a presentation regarding the General Land Office Grant pertaining to the Pleasure Island and Sabine Pass Water Front Project.