CARL PARKER — Ideas for Port Arthur’s Future

Published 12:04 am Friday, July 8, 2022

When I hear someone gripe that Port Arthur is not what it used to be, I am tempted to ask, “What have you done to make it better?”

I still believe that our city has the assets available to give us an outstanding town.

All we need is to use these assets wisely and have vision.

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First, we need to look like a first-class municipality. We could do so by getting tougher on those who ignore our city codes.

Strict enforcement is lacking in our city court, where there are not enough citations for violations filed and not enough heavy fines levied for those found guilty.

There are too many trashy buildings around our city that badly need to be fixed or torn down.

There is too much junk in too many front yards.

Next, we need our elected leaders to better use tax incentives. There needs to be a better accounting of how many local folks are employed in exchange for the granting of tax delays for businesses.

Another good idea would be to have those businesses seeking large tax breaks for locating a business within the city limits of Port Arthur to require that at least some of their management level employees reside in the city.

If it’s good enough to do business in, it should certainly be good enough to live in.

We need to elect leaders with vision. Our city leaders should be working hard to attract new and different kinds of investments and businesses in order to diversify our local economy.

Our supply of fresh water, mild climate, beautiful lake and Pleasure Island are only a few of the assets available to pursue this endeavor.

Ramping up our efforts to attract sporting and recreational activities in Port Arthur would not only improve our city but attract more and different people here to spend their money.

A few examples of what we could and should develop would be a good first-class boat facility to improve and publicize our great marina, sponsor boat regattas and even sponsor disc tournaments, which would publicize our disc golf course.

There are many ways that we, as individuals, can help improve our city.

Join a civic club, volunteer, support charities and your church.

Don’t neglect the appearance of your property.

Most of all, we need to show we care about the future of our city by participating in local elections.

If you live in Port Arthur, go to the polls and cast an intelligent vote for those we would have lead us.

If you don’t, how can you blame anyone else for Port Arthur not being what it used to be or how it could be in the future?


Carl Parker is a former member of the Texas House of Representatives and State Senate. He can be reached at