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And So It Is …

Brian McDougal has officially resigned from his position as Port Arthur’s City Manager, and his resignation has been accepted by City Council.  All that remains is for Port Arthur to cough up the rumored $270,000 needed to buy out his contract.  Names are already being tossed around for his successor.  Names like that of a certain ex-Port Arthur Police Department officer now the lead investigator for the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.  However, I think this is more a political favor suggested by someone who still trusts this person.  Personally speaking, and with reason, I don’t.

[NOTE] I have to back-track something stated above, and that is the suggestion relating to the ex-Port Arthur Police officer was suggested as a replacement for Chief Melvin, and not as the next City Manager.  I apologize for this incorrect statement.  Regardless, though, I still think it would be a bad choice.

Another name tossed out is that of Mr. Harvey Robinson.  I’m not aware of who this man is, or what his qualifications are, so it would be unfair to say one way or another what I think about this idea.  However, what I’m being told is that Mr. Robinson knows his way around City Hall, can work well with City Council, can’t be influenced by Carl Parker and won’t put up with the usual BS so well embedded in city government and administration.  I think that would be a “breath of fresh air” in Port Arthur and if everything they say about this man is true, then I could reasonably support his being offered the position.  My only regret is there aren’t enough other people in Port Arthur concerned enough to put that same “breath of fresh air” into the the jobs of Mayor and City Council.  Oh well, maybe in the next life …

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Something else has been chewing on me lately, and involves something I think people should be aware of.  We all know of the problems that have developed in locating suitable housing for those adversely affected by Tropical Storm Harvey.  Had it not been for the efforts of Port Arthur Police Officer John Owens willingness to step forward, even after being demoted within the Department and having had his title and duties as Port Arthur’s Emergency Management Coordinator stripped from him, chances are an awful lot of people would still be literally on the streets and not in formal lodging facilities throughout the area.

It’s well-recognized that many of those who are being provided free housing at local hotels and motels come from homes supported by public assistance.  The problem is that although many of these people are some of the finest folks you could ever come across, there is another segment of them that obviously don’t appreciate a damned thing being done for them and have taken it upon themselves to damage/destroy damned near everything around them, or steal damned near anything that isn’t welded down.  I know of one hotel owner that stated the costs of repairing the damaged rooms in which some FEMA guest stayed is costing him more than all the damages caused by Tropical Storm Harvey.  Another reported the televisions taken from flooded rooms, and stored until those rooms could be repaired, were stolen from the property.  In accommodations meant for extended stays, equipped with kitchenettes, the damages have been horrendous.  Smashed cook tops, glass microwave doors shattered or busted off hinges altogether, cookware, tableware, dishes and beverage containers stolen or busted up so no one can used them and, in one case, evidence at least five people defecated onto a bed mattress, covered it with sheets and blankets, and then piled trash and garbage on top of everything.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the behavior of uneducated animals; not the kind of people any community would like to be recognized for.  Yet they persist right here in Port Arthur, and every single one of them should be held accountable for their actions.  There shouldn’t be so much as an ounce of excuses for behavior like this.  And I sincerely hope you agree.  Condoning an atrocity like this is unforgivable!

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Like so many of you, our home sustained a considerable amount of damage resulting from Tropical Storm Harvey.  Unlike so many of you, this is the first time I have come face-to-face with having to acquire repair for our house while trying to put our lives back on an even keel.  What we’ve discovered is an arrogance among local contractors and suppliers in the way they handle inquiries from people like my wife and I.  In many ways, it’s downright insulting and degrading.  So much so that, contrary to what I originally wanted to do, keep our business local if at all possible, we are now entering into a contract with a company from outside our area and have authorized them to do the work on our house (which should commence later this week).  These people are fair, understanding and competent; which is a helluva lot more than I can say for their local counterparts.  So much so that both my wife and I look forward to working with them through the reconstruction process.

So let me say that if anyone else is getting sick and tired of the run-around they’re getting from local contractors and such, let me know and I will be more than pleased to share with you information on who we are using and how to get in touch with them.  I promise you it’s going to be like a whole new ballgame for you.

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