Evolving Port Arthur EDC board meets; those in attendance have hard time hearing

Published 12:28 am Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Uncertainty surrounding a Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors meeting was not made easier Monday night, as — for at least the second time in a row — a broken microphone system made members inaudible to those in the audience.

According to the agenda, the “new” board was to vote on a number of things, including but not limited to: Potentially electing a vice-president, secretary, and interim CEO; entering into a contract with the City of Port Arthur for administrative services; approving the Economic Development Corporation employee manual; and a review of the job descriptions for CEO and Deputy Director.

Current CEO Floyd Batiste recently submitted his resignation after 17 years and will leave the organization Sept. 30. Three other board members — John Chirafras, Roosevelt Petry, Dallas Smith — including the board’s legal counsel also resigned in the wake of Batiste’s announcement.

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Read more about the recent board changes here. 

On Monday, the newly restaffed board met for the first time, minus one who was not in attendance.

Batiste introduced newcomers Kaprina Frank, Jerry LaBoev and Frank Garza of the San Antonio-based law firm Davidson, Troilo, Ream & Garza. Beverly Raymond, who was the first newcomer to be appointed following Chirafrs’ resignation, was not in attendance.

The new board members, some of whom have served before, each introduced themselves briefly to the crowd.

Attorney Frank Garza acting in the interim role of the PAEDC. (Monique Batson/The News)

“This is the best board in the city” said Kaprina Frank.

However, those in attendance heard little else due to the malfunctioning audio equipment.

Batiste did thank the EDC and referenced a letter published recently in The Port Arthur News to the residents of Port Arthur.

Click here to read it.

According to the night’s agenda, the board was to approve minutes, accept presentations from new board members, accept the resignation of Dallas Smith, and receive reports from workforce development, programs compliance, finances, community and business, and a report from the CEO.

Mid-way through the “Reports” section of the agenda, the board said they needed to leave for Executive Session, which was scheduled for the end of the meeting.

They had not concluded executive session when they broke for dinner and ate, and then resumed the “reports” section of the agenda.

This is a developing story, and The Port Arthur News will expand on the meeting this week once board members can be directly contacted.