Mayor’s Port Arthur petition drive underway to change charter, extend term limits

Published 12:30 am Thursday, May 30, 2024

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Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie would like to serve a third, three-year term. To do so, he needs a charter change in the city.

It’s not just the mayor’s seat Bartie is hoping to extend the term limits for; it’s the whole council.

And since Bartie is serving his last term and the next municipal election for the city isn’t until May 2025, the issue must be placed before voters in the Nov. 5 election to have an impact on the 2025 election cycle.

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Bartie and volunteers are circulating a petition to get the issue to the voters with the proposed amendment — “Shall Article II, Section 1, Term of Office of the Charter of the City of Port Arthur be amended to increase the number of consecutive terms of office for the Mayor and Councilmembers from two (2) to three (3) consecutive terms?”

In order for this to be on the ballot, Bartie must get 1,396 signatures from Port Arthur registered voters, according to information from the city secretary’s office.

The petition was issued May 17, and Bartie has 60 days; until July 16, to collect the needed signatures.

Once the signatures are turned in, the city secretary must review each signature for validity. Whether the signatures are sufficient or not, the city secretary will then present the petition to the city council, which can then can call for an election.

Bartie is working with volunteers who are circulating the petition in different locations, he said.

Petitions will also be available to sign at Hannah Funeral Home. Those wishing to sign the petition can also contact the Mayor or a volunteer.

He said he would be at different functions in the upcoming days, where he will be able to circulate the petition.