PA voters to weigh in on PA Council designations, city commissions, park sales
Published 12:12 am Friday, February 14, 2020
Thursday’s special Port Arthur City Council meeting was dominated by additions to several items on the May 2 general election ballot.
The ballot includes six council positions elections. Mayor Thurman Bartie’s position is not up for election as he is completing the first year of a three-year term.
Five propositions regarding amendments to the city charter will be placed:
- Proposition 1 would re-numerate the two at-large positions on the council from 7 and 8 to 5 and 6. Voters in 2016 elected to eliminate the former districts 5 and 6 on the city council, taking effect in 2018.
The city’s charter advisory committee suggested to the council in a Feb. 8 special meeting to have councilmembers elected by plurality vote and have limits for at-large officials changed to three two-year terms from two three-year terms, which is the limit for everyone on the council. The council voted against that change.
The proposition also provides for staggering of the at-large terms from other terms. If passed, the at-large councilmember would be elected to one four-year term starting in May 2023, with the winners of those seats in May 2017 to serve three-year terms. If an at-large person has served a three-year term from 2020-23, he or she would be limited to serving a four-year term in May 2023.
- Proposition No. 2 would require each councilmember in districts 1-4 to be a resident of the district of which he represents for one year prior to the election and maintain residence in that district.
- Proposition No. 3 would rotate the Mayor Pro Tem designation in numeral sequence with each councilmember serving one year in that designation. The Mayor Pro Tem acts in the absence of the mayor.
- Proposition No. 4 would reduce the number of councilmembers needed to request to the city secretary call a special meeting from four to three. The mayor or city manager may also request such a meeting.
- Proposition No. 5 would create a Pleasure Island Department and Pleasure Island Advisory Commission to advise the city manager.
Another ballot item will be for or against the collective sale of the following city parks: Carver Terrace, Civic, Hughen, Barker, Immigrant and Montgomery. The parks will not be voted for or against individually.
The ballot will also include a proposition that would allow the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation to donate one-eighth of its revenue from a ½-cent sales tax toward recreational or facility projects for four years.
**Updated to reflect that Lakeshore Park and the Pleasure Island Golf Course are not among the locations proposed for sale**