LA MARQUE — La Marque voters will have the choice to stay the course or look to shake things up in Saturday’s one contested City Council race.
Incumbent Councilman James Osteen said the city is building up its budget while at the same time making needed improvements. But one of his challengers, Deanna Bethea, said the city needs to open up its lines of communication and more needs to be done for the city’s emergency responders.
Osteen is facing Bethea and Christopher Lane in a bid for the La Marque District B seat.
“I think the communication skills within the city have fallen on the wayside,” Bethea said.
She said she hoped the city would reach out to residents and especially to the La Marque school district, which is struggling with budgetary and academic performance issues.
Bethea said she won the endorsement of the La Marque Police Association. She said the police and fire departments were understaffed and underpaid and waiting on things like new vehicles and radios.
“There needs to be some fresh ideas,” she said.
The association did not return an email requesting comment.
Lane said the council could not focus on just one subject but had to tackle a range of issues.
He said establishing solidarity between different factions in the city, including city government, school district, faith and nonprofit originations, and corporate and private citizens in the city.
“We can’t start addressing the problems that we have in the city if we don’t come together collectively to help move the city forward,” Lane said.
But Osteen said things are getting done.
Osteen said the city is in the best condition its been in a long time with increasing budget reserves and repair work being done on its infrastructure.
“We’re making progress,” Osteen said. “We’re getting our financial house in order.”
Osteen, who prides himself on watching the city’s budget closely, said the council has responded to the needs of the city’s first responders.
The council approved hiring two extra police officers more than a year ago and a month ago approved spending about $500,000 for vehicles and radios for the police department, which are in the process of going out to bid, he said.
“We are making it work and we are doing good,” Osteen said. “Our financial situation has really improved.”
At a glance
WHAT: La Marque District B Councilman James Osteen will face challengers Deanna Bethea and Christopher Lane for the District D seat.
WHEN: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, Tuesday and Sunday
- La Marque City Hall, Community Room, 1109-B Bayou Road, in La Marque
- Hitchcock City Hall, Council Chambers, 7423 state Highway 6, in Hitchcock
- MUD 12, 2nd Floor, 2929 state Highway 6, in Bayou Vista
- San Leon MUD, 443 24th St., in San Leon
- Santa Fe City Hall, 12002 state Highway 6, in Santa Fe
- Galveston County Courthouse, second floor, 722 21st St., in Galveston
- Kemah Community Center, 800 Harris Ave. at state Highway 146, in Kemah
- Seaside Baptist Church, 16534 Termini-San Luis Pass Road, in Jamaica Beach
- Carver Park (Carter Room), 6415 Park Ave., in Texas City