Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation again discusses CEO’s evaluation; board leadership gets shakeup

Published 8:41 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

The results of the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation CEO’s 6-month evaluation will not be released at this time.

Board members spent more than an hour in executive session Tuesday night to discuss CEO Terry Stokes’ evaluation and an agenda item regarding the PAEDC’s Spur 93 and Jade Avenue business parks.

When they emerged Vice-President Darrell Anderson made a motion to not release the information due to Stokes not being present.

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“We have an assessment on our CEO and we will not divulge any information until we are able to speak to him directly, so that he can have first hand information,” Anderson said.

As the PAEDC met Tuesday, Stokes was across the street at Port Arthur City Hall, where he spoke about an industrial training program by Lamar State College Port Arthur.

After the PAEDC meeting Tuesday night, Anderson declined to answer additional questions on when the information would be presented to Stokes, referring to the statement he made during the meeting.

PAEDC Board Vice-President Darrell Anderson makes a motion to not release the findings of the CEO’s evaluation. (Mary Meaux/The News)

After the meeting was adjourned, Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation Board President Jerry LaBove told Port Arthur Newsmedia he was no longer a board member, as he was removed by city council that night.

During Tuesday’s meeting, LaBove participated in routine functions, indicting his removal went into place after the meeting.

As the PAEDC meeting was ongoing Tuesday, the Port Arthur City Council was also meeting in a different location. It was there that Councilman Donald Frank requested LaBove’s removal.

LaBove’s term on the PAEDC board was to expire Jan. 19, 2024.

According to verbiage on the Tuesday City Council agenda, “any director may be removed at any time by a majority vote of city council.”

PAEDC board members Christopher Smith and Richard Wycoff were absent Tuesday.

Previous action

On May 1, the PAEDC board was set to discuss Stokes’ evaluation, but the issue was brought to executive session.

When the board emerged then, a motion was made, saying Stokes needed improvement and a second evaluation would be held in 60 days.

That motion last week died for a lack of a second.

Also last week, Anderson asked if Stokes was aware of the criteria for which the evaluation was performed. The answer was no.

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