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THE UPSIDE OF TEXAS CITY INDUSTRY

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Jose’ Boix is a long time resident of Texas City. Since the early 60’s he has watched the changes brought about by industry in our city and as an active member of both the Texas City – La Marque Community Advisory Council on Environmental Issues & Texas City ISD Foundation for the Future, Boix has a unique insight into the interaction between industry and the community. Back in the early days, Boix said “you could smell the difference between the Texas City Refinery, Monsanto, BP and all the others. By the soot on your car you could tell whose it was.” Today Texas City air quality is some of the best in the country and much of it is due to industry’s support for transparency. Whether it is “pukes, flares or spills,” industry is committed to keeping the community informed & working closely with Emergency Management.
As a retired engineer, Boix is uniquely skilled in serving as a liaison between the plant people and the community. “Of course the Tax Evaluation issue has a huge impact on the city and that is a challenge for legislators. In the meantime, plant people are just like us and there are so many smaller industry related businesses like AA Machine, Don Heat Exchange, Sea Lion, Trey Industries and so many more that contribute dollars and sweat equity, giving back to the community in many different ways.” On May 17th TCEQ, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will report on Texas City Air quality. Certainly accidents happen but the progress that has been made over the years
shows that good communication creates and maintains a strong partnership between the community and industry. CAC meetings tend to be well attended with about half of the attendees being from industry and theother half representing the general public. This commitment to supporting community and industry to strengthen, imrprove and grow Texas City is palpable and contributes to the continuing success of our city. Similar to Boix, another individual who is well-versed in the matters of the industry is Phil Roberts. Roberts is a current Texas City attorney and city commissioner, who is running for the at-large position in the upcoming election. He spoke to us about the ways the industries help the community—most specifically through their donations. “Marathon provides monetary and voluntary donations to
United Way of Galveston County Mainland,” Roberts said. “Through the campaign that United Way has every year, they do a tremedous job at the industries at getting employees involved with the campaign.” Roberts also told me that many industry employees volunteer on the United Way group which decides how the funds will be designated, and how much each organization—aided by United Way—will
receive. Along with Marathon, Roberts credited DOW and Valero for their service to United Way Galveston County Mainland. He told us that employees from these industries have representatives on the United Way board. And by serving United Way, these industries serve numerous organizations around Texas City—based on the fact that United Way serves and assists several organizations itself. He also discussed the positive relationship between Texas City and its industries. “Texas City depends on industry quite a bit, not only for our tax base, but also for the sales tax that is generated through industry.” He also told us that there are several industry employees who serve on
different boards, city commissions and are members of the Rotary Club. In fact, city commissioner Bruce Clawson is an industry employee.
Lastly, he told us about the Texas City- La Marque Community Advisory Council meetings, which take place every few months,
and feature industry leaders speaking to the community about the work they are doing and discussing important industry updates.
Being that these are free events, Roberts encourages everyone to try and attend one meeting, to gain a better understanding of
what exactly the industries do. “This meeting is the best source of communication
between the community and the industry.”

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