Get involved in “Community Conversations” – city outlines Port Arthur changes

Published 12:13 am Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The communication lines between the city of Port Arthur and residents are improving courtesy of community meetings.

Soon, residents will have a list of all of the city’s department directors and their direct phone numbers. This improvement in connectivity came from concerns voiced at last week’s Community Conversations meeting.

Port Arthur City Manager Ron Burton said the listing is being distributed with the next round of water bills, adding it’s a good way to get information out to residents who do not use social media.

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Last week’s Community Conversations meeting was held at the West Side Development Center and was attended by approximately 20 people. There were representatives from all city departments available to provide information on customer service or address citizens’ concerns.

The second of four planned Community Conversations is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center, 3401 Cultural Center Drive. Two more meetings are planned after this week’s meeting; one is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 19 at the Sabine Pass Community Center, 5262 S. Gulfway Drive, and the fourth is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 26 at Lakeside Palomar Community Center, 5700 Cambridge St.

The beginning

Burton said the idea came about when he was hired as city manager. He told his team they needed to touch base with the community and residents so the community knows who they are.

“One of the things I’m committed to is to provide quality customer service, and this is a good way of initiating that, developing a dialogue with citizens,” he said. “This is a good way to touch base with the neighborhood organizations, the churches, so that people feel they’re a part, genuinely a part of what takes place in the city and to provide them with an update.”

What’s up

The meetings will all have the same format where each city department, including the city’s Economic Development Corporation, update the public of its role and what it is currently doing.

According to information from the city’s website, there will be information on street repairs, drainage concerns, trash collection, development standards, city parks, sewer concerns, housing programs, public transportation, hiring processes, code enforcement, junked motor vehicles, tall grass, dilapidated structures, tire collection and more.

The meetings are being held in all four districts of the city and the elected officials for those areas are invited to attend.

Burton said whatever concerns are brought up at the meetings will be addressed in the next 24 to 48 hours.

But this isn’t the last of the community meetings. Burton plans to have another set of meetings in six months that follow-up on concerns voiced during this round.