Early voting continues for Mid County fire fighters & Groves City Council

Published 12:22 am Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Totals as of Monday for the first six days of early voting remain low with less than 800 ballots cast.

According to the Jefferson County Clerk’s site online, there were 773 early voting ballots cast across the county.

There were also 847 total mail ballots returned as of Oct. 23.

Locally, residents in Groves and Port Neches are also deciding on a proposition dealing with collective bargaining and another allowing collective bargaining for fire fighters.

Leaders of both organizations want to dispel a misconception.

Voting in favor of the propositions does not mean firefighters will be able to go on strike or be locked out.

Port Neches Fire Capt. Tyler Hebert, who is president of the Port Neches Fire Fighters Association, said one of the key things they found out while speaking with residents is there are some who thought the department would go on strike if the propositions weren’t approved by voters.

“It’s not going to be like Exxon,” Hebert said. “We can’t go on strike. There can’t be a lockout. You don’t have to worry about us not showing up.”

Groves Fire Lt. Haden Grove, who is president of Groves Professional Firefighters Association, echoed Hebert’s words, saying they would not leave the residents without fire protection and the state prohibits public servants from going on strike or a lockout.

Both fire associations have worked to get the word out about the election and met with voters in their respective cities, they said.

They are now asking the public to come out and vote.

“Now is the time to show your support by the voting process and vote ‘yes’ for our two propositions,” Hebert said. “This can help fire fighter members now and down the road 30, 40 years from now.” 

City of Port Neches Proposition A

Adoption of the state law applicable to fire fighters that establishes collective bargaining if a majority of the affected employees favor representation by an employees association, preserves the prohibition against strikes and lockouts and provides penalties for strikes and lockouts.

City of Port Neches Proposition B

Shall the City Charter be amended to give the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 3713, the authority to require the City to participate in binding arbitration of all issues in dispute with the Association if the City and the Association reach impasse in collective bargaining negotiations?

City of Groves Proposition A

Adoption of the state law applicable to fire fighters that establishes collective bargaining if a majority of the affected employees favor representation by an employees association, preserves the prohibition against strikes and lockouts and provides penalties for strikes and lockouts.

City of Groves Proposition B

Shall the City Charter be amended to give the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 1905, the authority to require the City to participate in binding arbitration of all issues in dispute with the Association if the City and the Association reach impasse in collective bargaining negotiations?

Groves city council election

Voters in Groves will also choose between three individuals for the Ward 3 seat.

Candidates include Rob Vensel, 59, who lists his occupation as self-employed; Michael Campise, 67, retired; and Barbara Edington, 57, who lists her occupation as administrator.

Edington previously ran for the seat but was defeated by the incumbent.

Longtime Ward 3 councilman Sidney Badon announced his intent to not run for reelection at the end of an August city council meeting.

Ward 1 incumbent Mark McAdams, 58, did not have any opponents.

In addition to the local joint election there is also eight state propositions to vote on.

Early voting dates, hours and locations

Oct. 25 to Oct. 27 — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 28 and Oct. 29 — 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Groves Recreation Center, 6150 39th St., Groves
  • Effie & Wilton Hebert Library, 2025 Merriman St., Port Neches
  • Port Arthur Sub-courthouse, 525 Lakeshore Drive
  • Port Arthur Library, 4615 Ninth Ave.
  • Marion & Ed Hughes Public Library, 2712 Nederland Ave., Nederland
  • Beaumont Courthouse main location, 1085 Pearl St., Beaumont
  • Rogers Park, 6540 Gladys, Beaumont
  • Theodore Johns Library, 4255 Fannett Road, Beaumont
  • John Paul Davis Community Center, 3580 E. Lucas, Beaumont
  • Ray Chesson Office Building, 19217 FM 365, Beaumont
  • Precinct One Service Center, 20215 W. US 90, China

Election Day is Nov. 2.