Port Arthur City Council to vote today on new PA Economic Development Corporation leader

Published 12:20 am Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Port Arthur City Council is set today to approve a new CEO for the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation.

In a memo dated Jan. 4, Interim CEO George Davis asked the mayor and council to approve the appointment of Jessica Carpenter as the EDC’s new CEO.

Carpenter was selected in early December by the EDC to fill the position left by the resignation of Floyd Batiste, which was submitted in July but did not take effect until Oct. 1.

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Carpenter was one of three finalists, the other two being Biguita Hernandez-Smith and Larry Calhoun.

However, her election to the position was unanimous.

“The Board has advertised the position, evaluated candidates and have gone through an interview process of the final candidates,” Davis said in his memo. “The Board has offered the position to Ms. Jessica Carpenter, and would like to enter into an agreement with Ms. Carpenter for her professional services and employment as Chief Executive Officer of the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation.”

Davis has been serving since Oct. 1, but did not apply for permanent employment.

While the memo says the council is recommended to approve Carpenter’s employment, not all votes have gone in favor for the EDC in the last few months.

In late November, the EDC asked the council to approve hiring Germer PLLC as legal council. Germer previously served as legal counsel for the EDC, but resigned July 13 along with Floyd Batiste and board member John Chirafis.

The council voted 5/2 against rehiring the law firm.