PORT ARTHUR - Port Arthur councilman Harold Doucet believes the city council is saving tax payer money by cutting ties with the Parker Law firm.
The City Council voted five to four on Tuesday to end their contract with Carl Parker who was on contract to lobby for the city at the state capitol.
“I have an issue when you tell me you have a lobbyist but you never tell the person what you want them to go and fight for so if he is not going to fight for a particular issue why is he going,” said Doucet.
Councilman Doucet said Parker was getting paid by the city $6,000 a month and $72,000 a year which is costing the tax payers too much money.
"We don't need to pay a person to go and monitor what is happening,” said Doucet. “We have the Texas Municipal League which, that is what they do, they keep cities abreast throughout the process about what laws are coming up or what bills are coming up that will impact your city.”
Doucet states Parker never approached the city council for a resolution to lobby for the city in the first place.
He believes the city has enough representation with Texas Representative Joe Deshotel and the Texas Municipal League.
One reason he thinks Parker had a lengthy contract with the city council is because he supported several council members with their campaigns.
"Everyone who received campaign contributions voted to keep the contract and I was surprised,” said Doucet. “I was actually surprised because some of these same council people were there when citizens came before council and spoke against this contract."
Carl Parker told 12news he still has the right as a citizen to support council members even if he works for the city.
“I didn’t give up my right as a citizen just because I work for the city, I care deeply for the city,” said Parker. “I didn’t know I had to give up my right to support whatever candidate I was supposed to.”
In regards to lobbying, Parker explains the city council members never asked him what he was working on.
“I filed a regular report telling the city I filed 40 hours a week, I was consulting with the city attorney,” said Parker.
He adds he also lobbied for about five bills at the Capitol.
“They don’t understand what you do when they lobby, every week there would be 500 or 600 bills in session,” said Parker. “I would pick out bills that had a detrimental effect on the city and notify the city manager."
Parker mentioned he worked on several arbitration cases and was fired when he was halfway through working on a case.
Councilman Doucet said he appreciates Parker’s contribution to the city but is glad tax payers will no longer have to pay a high cost for his contract.
"You got to be prepared to do what’s right not what’s personal do what’s right I could care less whether this contract stayed or went as long as it stayed for the right reasons,” said Doucet.
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