PA Council looks to formally push May 2 elections to Nov. 3
Published 12:24 pm Tuesday, March 31, 2020
The Port Arthur City Council moved Tuesday morning to formally adopt an ordinance to move the May 2 council elections to Nov. 3, which is the presidential Election Day.
The motion came shortly before a live stream of the councilmembers’ teleconference via Zoom technology finally appeared through the city’s usual link to live videos, portarthurtx.swagit.com/live. That was at 9:29 a.m., 59 minutes before the scheduled start of the meeting.
The council’s chamber, located on the fifth floor of city hall, was closed Tuesday and each councilmember and Mayor Thurman Bartie signed into the meeting remotely. The same videoconferencing format will be used for each city council meeting until the COVID-19 pandemic ends, Bartie said.
Tuesday’s motion called for city attorney Val Tizeno to prepare an ordinance to postpone the elections. The formal vote on the ordinance will take place at either a special meeting April 7, which is set up to extend the city’s disaster order, or the April 14 regular meeting.
The postponement into Nov. 3 complies with state and federal laws, since that is the next uniform election date, Bartie said.
The delay does not automatically postpone the Port Arthur Independent School District board elections, city secretary Sherri Bellard said.
The PAISD and the city have a contract to conduct their elections together.
Port Arthur ISD Superintendent Dr. Mark Porterie could not immediately be reached Tuesday, but he told The News earlier this month the district would follow the city’s lead in rescheduling its election.