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Legislation filed to get San Patricio Co. more Port Commission seats

Posted at 8:30 PM, Mar 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 23:48:58-04

San Patricio County’s fight to get more seats on the Port of Corpus Christi Commission has gone all the way to Austin.

State Representative J.M. Lozano (R – District 43) has filed several bills that would get San Patricio Co. more representation.

Currently the City of Corpus Christi and Nueces County each have three members on the Port Commission.  San Patricio has one.  Rep. Lozano says San Patricio Co. deserves more seats on the Port Commission, because that’s where the growth is.

Lozano’s bills represent three options, all designed to get his county more representation.

“Port commissions have been altered throughout the history of the state,” said Lozano.  “Our port in Corpus has been altered many times since it was created by the legislature.”

Lozano filed three pieces of legislation to get San Patricio Co. more seats: House Bills 2924, 2925, and 4264.

H.B. 2924 expands the Port Commission by two members to nine, with three appointments each for Corpus Christi, Nueces Co., and San Patricio Co.  H.B. 2925 keeps the commission at seven members, but moves a Nueces Co. seat to San Patricio Co.   H.B. 4264 is a compromise bill.  The commission adds two nonvoting commissioners from San Patricio Co.  Those commissioners would get votes after two years.  Lozano says H.B. 4264 is the same deal San Patricio Co. offered Nueces Co.

“I was hoping they would actually reach a compromise,” said Lozano.  “That hasn’t happened yet, but I am still confident that there may be a compromise soon.”

Last month the respective county judges told KRIS 6 News the dispute an argument between population and growth with Nueces Co. on the side of population.

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

Meanwhile, San Patricio Co. officials believe their growth earned them more seats.

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

Lozano believes he’ll have the support he needs from his colleagues in Austin.

“They put themselves in our shoes,” said Lozano of his fellow legislators.  “How would they react if they saw the growth in their county, and the constituents wanted an extra voice?”

Part of the procedure includes these bills going to Gov. Greg Abbott so he can notify appropriate agencies, such as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

A Port spokesperson told KRIS 6 News that Port officials here aren’t commenting on the matter.

Lozano has filed a total of six Port related bills.  H.B. 2921 asks for review of the Port by the Sunset Advisory Commission, H.B. 2922 relates to Port administration, and H.B. 2923 would change the Port’s name to include the Port of Corpus Christi Authority of Nueces and San Patricio Counties.