Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation to evaluate newest CEO; concerns with slow pace shared

Published 4:35 am Tuesday, May 2, 2023

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Possible discussion on an evaluation of Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation’s CEO Terry Stokes was tossed out Monday and a special meeting scheduled to handle the issue.

The PAEDC Board of Directors will hold a special meeting in the next two weeks to evaluate Stokes, Board President Jerry LaBove said when the group emerged from executive session.

An evaluation of the CEO was on Monday’s agenda, and a motion was made saying Stokes needed improvement and a second evaluation would be held in 60 days.

PAEDC Board Treasurer Ellen Clark reacts to discussion during the meeting. (Mary Meaux/The News)

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The motion died for lack of a second.

Board Vice President Darrell Anderson looked at evaluation paperwork that was distributed to the board and asked if Stokes was aware of the criteria for which the evaluation was performed. The answer was no.

After the meeting, LaBove explained the reason for performing an evaluation on the CEO, saying Stokes’ contract calls for his performance to be evaluated at six months. He was hired by Port Arthur City Council in October.

There was tension early into the meeting as several board members questioned Stokes on a “preliminary” budget he submitted to the city council without passing the information before the board. He described this budget as finalizing the current fiscal year with some forward estimates.

Stokes told Board Treasurer Ellen Clark there was nothing to review and the information submitted to the city was the potential information on where they may go in terms of staffing when looking at the upcoming fiscal year budget.

Stokes said there would also be scheduled workshops in June and July in addition to the regularly scheduled board meetings.

Clark expressed concern, saying they usually have budget and finance committee meetings before they have a budget workshop.

Several board members expressed disdain at the pace of Stokes in developing a strategic plan for the organization as it relates to the budget, the Press Building and Business Park.