PORT ARTHUR -
In a unanimous decision at last Tuesday's meeting the Port Arthur City Council approved a proposition for the May ballot. It gives voters the say on whether the city may control Pleasure Island.
"The city has greater resources, they have the ability of issuing bonds to develop the island, it has the ability to have a planning department," said District 5 City Councilman Willie "Bae" Lewis.
The proposition was one of 11 charter change propositions passed by the council, and states that "The Pleasure Island Commission will serve as an advisory board of the city." The possibility of the city being in control has Pleasure Island Commission Chairman Terry Doyle worried about the future.
"If you compare the performance of the commission to the performance of the city, I think the commission has run the island better than the council has run the city," Doyle said.
Doyle says the commission has overseen a number of improvements to the island, like the new $10 million marina just weeks from completion. But Councilman Lewis says more improvements could have been made.
"Not a whole lot has happened. The only thing that's happened is storm economics from FEMA money," he said.
That FEMA money went into the marina along with loans from the city. But Doyle says its not as much about the number of improvements as the number of dollars in play.
"The island is about to be comfortably in the black, and they want to get their hands on that money," he said.
Both will have to wait to see what voters decide in May.