Port Arthur mayor focuses on moving forward after city manager resignation

Port Arthur Mayor Derrick Freeman discusses what's next for the city after city manager Brian McDougal's resignation.

PORT ARTHUR - Port Arthur mayor Derrick Freeman says he hopes to start a nationwide search for a new city manager after Brian McDougal’s resignation.

Freeman hopes that the vacancy left will be filled as soon as possible.

Citizens like Artemus Hancock are focused on rebuilding after Tropical Storm Harvey. Hancock is also paying attention to what’s going on at Port Arthur City Hall.

"We will miss Mr. McDougal, I think he was doing a fine job however there comes a time in everyone's life where they must change," Hancock said.

It’s a change impacting projects that Mayor Derrick Freeman is hoping to start with the new city manager.

“Port Arthur is long overdue for some wins here in Port Arthur, we have all the resources to be one of the great cities in America. And I think if we can get the right person to lead our team in that right direction, we're going to be okay," Freeman said.

“I was hopeful that he [McDougal] would stick around for this big street initiative and this housing initiative that we’re about to start,” Freeman said.

Mayor Freeman said that McDougal helped plan some of those initiatives. Freeman says that the city is expecting funds from HUD that will come through the Texas General Land Office.

Freeman says he plans on using a bond issue to pay for road repairs across several streets in Port Arthur. He expects a hefty price tag but would not say a specific amount.

Mayor Freeman did not state any specific reasons on what led to McDougal’s resignation.

“I really have nothing negative to say about Brian, I have nothing negative to say about council, but it just wasn’t the right fit,” Freeman said.

Hancock is confident that city council will find a suitable replacement.

"I believe the city council is capable and has the wisdom to carefully select an individual to replace him and get us through this trying time brought on by Harvey," Hancock said.

Assistant city manager Jimmie Johnson will serve as interim city manager.

12 News contacted Brian McDougal who did not wish to comment.
 

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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