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Nueces County opposes adding Port Commissioners

Posted at 6:23 PM, Feb 06, 2019

The Nueces County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday opposing adding two seats to the port commission.

It’s a dispute which comes down to an argument of population versus industry.

The Port Commission is made up of seven members; three represent Corpus Christi, three represent Nueces County, leaving just one seat for San Patricio County.

Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales believes Port representation should be based on population.

“If you look at population we are adequately represented in Nueces County with our six commissioners, and the one in San Patricio,” said Canales.

However, San Patricio County Judge David Krebs believes industry should play a factor as well.

“Yes, we’re a small county,” said Krebs.  “But still, the industry is over here, they’re not going in to Nueces County, they’re coming over here.”

San Patricio County officials offered a compromise.  Have the Port add two temporary seats for what’s called ex-officio members for two years before making them permanent in 2021.

“They would have all the rights of a regular member, except they would not be a voting member,” said Krebs.

That doesn’t sit well with Canales.

“That member really would have full authority,” said Canales.  “They’d get to serve on standing committees, they’d get to make a quorum, they’d get to participate in closed session.”

Krebs argues that if San Patricio County got those seats, their representatives would be able to get items on the Port Commission’s agenda.  It takes two commissioners to add an item, which means San Patricio’s representative needs the cooperation of another member from Nueces County.

“We just want to be heard, that is it,” said Krebs.

State Rep. H.M. Lozano, who represents San Patricio County in the legislature, is drafting legislation which would force the Port to add those two seats. However, Krebs says he and other county officials aren’t sure if that’s the route they want to take yet.