The election is over, the numbers have been crunched, and the story those numbers tell isn’t something very many communities like Port Arthur would be especially proud of. In a community called home by 54,135 people, 29,172 of them registered voters, only 3,306 ballots were cast in the recent mayoral runoff election. What this means is that roughly 11% of the registered voters in Port Arthur care enough about their community to vote in an election to decide who the leader of their city will be for the next several years.
Considering the number of people who cry, whine, bitch and bellyache about everything wrong in Port Arthur, especially in social media, one would think there would be a larger voter turnout for elections. Not so in Port Arthur, Texas. About the only thing that befuddles a logically thinking mind more than how so few people are willing to express interest in their community as there are in Port Arthur is the whimsical pipe-dream of redeveloping the downtown area into what people remember it as being roughly a half-dozen decades ago.
Although the City of Port Arthur proudly proclaims itself an “ethnically diversified community”, the truth is it is also an extremely divided community. Only two primary ethnic groups are represented in government. Perhaps the other ethnic groups know better than to thrust themselves into the mayhem caused by such an ethnically divided community. However, the primary problem in Port Arthur government is that each of the two primary ethnic groups represented in government would each like to take control over government and eradicate the other from it and the community altogether purely for their own personal benefit, profit and gain. Their intent really hasn’t much to do with administering and managing the city at all. It’s enough to make the average person sick to their stomach to hear those on each side of that ethnic fence speak!
Port Arthur has seen it’s day, and watched it disappear. Drive around the city and what you will see most are dilapidated, rundown, mostly abandoned buildings dotting the landscape. Junk cars and other trash litters many properties. Other than the rare refinery jobs, most employment in Port Arthur is limited to jobs paying at, or very close to, the minimum wage. There isn’t hardly anything to keep our youth in Port Arthur because the community has nothing to offer them. Take into consideration that it’s been estimated that 76% of all Port Arthur residents exist purely on public assistance.
I seriously doubt there will ever be a day in my lifetime when the people of Port Arthur come together to address not only the will of the people, but meet the needs of the community. If you do believe this will happen, can I interest you in the purchase of one-square-foot of genuine Texas Gulf Coast marsh muck? And, if you prepay your order, I’ll even throw in the roots!
In the meantime, though, the people of Port Arthur should be more ashamed of themselves for having allowed their community to become what it is today; and, that isn’t anything to brag about.