FLOYD BATISTE — What happened to our EDC in Port Arthur?
Published 12:04 am Saturday, November 18, 2023
In a time of our greatest economic opportunities for our community. With the construction on three LNGs: Sempra, Golden Pass and Chenier facilities and expansion by Valero, Motiva and other industry partners, and the many of secondary businesses that located to our community to services our industry partners.
There is the expansion of the Port of Port Arthur. There is the addition of the Press Building, which houses the City Emergency Management Center and Lamar Culinary Training Center, Port Arthur Credit Union, and office space for lease for growing and expanding businesses.
Lamar State College PA, new Industrial Training Center, Motiva, relocating of their administrative campus downtown are happening. This is bigger than Spindletop was in its day. What is our Economic Development Corporation doing to make sure this growth is sustainable?
Our City Council members are working tirelessly to fix our streets, our drainage problems, cleaning our city and creating a better quality of life with enhancements to our parks.
The problem as I see it, it’s management and board leadership. Having served as director of this organization for 17 years, I will list those concerns that cause me to be making my assessment of our problems. Let us remember that the economic development corporation is the economic engine of our community.
The council appointed EDC Board has done nothing about the EDC Executive Director misuse of his contractual agreement concerning his relocation allocation in an amount not to exceed $10,000.
The council appointed EDC Board did away with the board unfavorable evaluation of the EDC Chief Executive Officer.
The council appointed EDC Board has accepted the EDC Chief Executive Officer to shut down the Port Arthur EDC Business Parks.
The council appointed EDC Board has accepted the EDC Chief Executive Officer to shut down the leasing of space in the Press Building Downtown Port Arthur.
The council appointed EDC Board have not enrolled one person from Port Arthur into Lamar Training Center after being made aware of the agreement between LSCPA and EDC for the contribution of $1 million in match money to EDA.
The council appointed EDC Board has allowed the EDC Chief Executive Officer too sever for one year without recruiting one (1) new business to our community in the last two years.
The council appointed EDC Board has allowed the EDC Chief Executive Officer to engage in a High-Level Strategic Plan for over a year and have yet to see a draft of it.
The council appointed EDC Board allowed the EDC Chief Executive Officer and EDC Attorney to draft new Bye Laws for the organization without input from the board itself.
The council appointed EDC Board has accepted the EDC Chief Executive Officer to live outside the City of Port Arthur when his contractual agreement states he must be a resident of Port Arthur.
The council appointed EDC Board has allowed the EDC Chief Executive Officer to oversee and manage the operation of EDC organization while spending extraordinarily little time in the office.
The council appointed EDC Board has allowed the EDC Chief Executive Officer to recommend and approved the highest annual budget in EDC history without a performance budgeting plan.
The council appointed EDC Board has accepted the EDC Chief Executive Officer to recommendation that EDC cut their own checks. Taking it away from the City Financial Department.
The council appointed EDC Board has accepted the EDC Chief Executive Officer recommendation that EDC did not have funds to pay their bills.
Again, Council members I want to thank each of you for the dedication you have in serving the people of Port Arthur, Texas. I pray God’s protection over each of you.
I know each Council members are dedicated to being a good public servant, when there more of a threat to our liberties by those Council members who ignore this type of behavior.
It is no wonder that the City of Port Arthur is in the condition it is in. The practice of Council members who ignoring things of importance bleeds into the city especially the Economic Development Corporation.
Recently at a Nederland Council meeting a Nederland citizen made a statement to send your trash to Port Arthur, no council member stood up and said no to this. WHY?
Council members, please keep doing what you are doing it is time to bring respect back to this city.
Please do not let this “City by the Sea” sink. Its close because of the behavior of a few. What is really going on at EDC.
We must all get involved. There is a lot of wonderful things happening in our community, yet we are stuck in the mud. Look how things are going on in neighboring city of Orange: new roads, new businesses, new housing, great community involvement and community planning.
As for the problems with the Economic Development Corporation, Council members, appoint individuals to the board with the knowledge and experience to make it work for our community,
— Floyd Batiste is the former chief executive officer of the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation.