Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations sharing advertising space in the Golden Triangle is a signal that the end of the year is barreling at us at the usual high rate of speed. It is during this last quarter of the year the chamber focuses on where we have been and where we are going. The following is a list of the major projects, programs and events on which we shall be focusing.
Developing a budget for the next year – The chamber staff begins to meet with committee chairpersons and new officers to develop a budget that will fund the chamber without deficit spending. Unlike government we cannot print new money or raise taxes.
Electing and training new directors and officers – The chamber board of directors consists of 28 members including 7 members of the Executive Committee. Each director is elected to a 3 year term. To train, motivate and involve these new directors the chamber conducts a one day planning retreat. All directors and committee chairpersons are invited and expected to attend.
Recognizing retiring directors and officers – The 7 directors that are retiring from the board and any officers that are retiring from the Executive Committee shall be recognized at the annual banquet. That banquet will be held on January 27, 2015 at the Bob Bowers Civic Center. Al Caldwell from KLVI 560 radio will be our speaker.
Reviewing accomplishments and failures, planning to build on accomplishments and determine why we failed to reach some goals – Using the Accreditation process the chamber shall continue reviewing its programs to determine which ones shall continue or, if necessary, canceled. This process insures the chamber continues to grow and improve.
Work hard to pass the school bond issue – The chamber will work with a local group to raise money and support to encourage the approval of the Port Arthur ISD school bond issue.
Prepare for Golden Triangle Days In Austin – This event is an effort of all chambers in the Golden Triangle Area. Representatives from all chambers will be working together to determine which issues are most important to the area. As of now, the following issues are being discussed and the Greater Port Arthur Chamber has sent a survey to our members in an effort to insure we are representing the issues most important to them.
Economic Development and Competitiveness - (Support Business Incentives, Tax Credits, Skills Development Programs, Community Awareness Programs that Informs the Public about Business Projects and Local Impact, Support Small Business Exporting)
Education and Workforce Quality - (Academic Excellence, Promote Career and Technical Education, Incentives for Higher Graduation Rates, Support Funding for Future Growth in Local Colleges)
Energy - (Support Keystone Pipeline Project and a US-Based Energy Policy, Support Permitting of LNG Production to Accommodate both Import and Export Capabilities)
Environment - (Preserve Junior Water Rights, Support Texas Commission on Environmental Air Quality Permitting, Supporting advocacy efforts in monitoring and commenting on proposed EPA Greenhouse Gas legislation, Recognize Environmental Performance Improvements, Support Efforts to Restore Natural Barriers)
Health Care - (Support Health Insurance Exchanges and Programs for the Developmentally Disabled)
Immigration - (Support Improvements Made to the Federal Employment Verification System, Monitor changes Made to Strengthen Border Security, Monitor the Expansion of Visas for Skilled Workers)
Insurance - (Monitor Texas Windstorm Insurance Agency on changes that only affect 14 Counties (Jefferson County Included), Support Affordable Homeowners Insurance Rates in Coastal Communities)
Taxes and Spending - (Promote a Competitive Business Tax Environment; Restrict Budget Growth to Population and Inflation Indices, Insure no Unfunded Mandates from the State and Local Taxing Entities)
Transportation - (Support Federal Highways Funding, Support Local Airline Service, Support Growth by the Freight Rail Companies, Monitor Efforts in Improving the Sabine Neches Ship Waterway, Support Programs and Initiatives of the Port of Port Arthur , Support Restoration of the State Highway 87, Support Competitive Energy Costs, Expedite the Permitting Process to Move Projects Forward , Support a Modernized Technology Platform)
As you can see there is a lot to do to ensure the chamber is financially sound and representing the wishes of our members. If you wish to contribute, volunteer, or be involved in any of these events call me at 409-527-0889 or go to our website at www.portarthurtexas.com.