Published January 20, 2021
Mayor Becky Ames, Beaumont’s longest-serving Mayor, announced last Wednesday that she will not seek re-election. Mayor Ames was sworn in as Beaumont’s 41st Mayor on May 22, 2007, and since her initial election, the Mayor has been subsequently re-elected to six additional two-year terms after serving as an At-Large Councilmember from 1994 to 2007. You can view the Mayor’s press conference of her announcement here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtHqsSC3wss&feature=em-lsb-owner
Since being elected Mayor, Ames has initiated several projects and programs to improve the quality of life and enhance economic development in Beaumont. She spearheaded an overhaul of the City’s permitting process which included opening a “One Stop Shop” (OSS) in City Hall. The OSS provides one convenient location for businesses and homeowners to receive information on permitting and zoning requirements, submit forms and resolve issues. Mayor Ames’s commitment to customer service and accessibility didn’t stop there. Another service initiative resulted in a state of the art 311 call centers that assist Beaumont residents with non-emergency matters and later including an app for 311.
While serving as Mayor, perhaps her most significant hands on contributions were in the days and weeks before and after multiple storms, Gustav, Ike, Harvey, and most recently Imelda and Laura. Each storm presented its unique set of challenges to the residents of Beaumont. Mayor Ames’s leadership and emergency management experience were crucial to the recovery efforts. During Hurricane Harvey, Mayor Ames maintained open lines of communication to deliver critical information to citizens during the major flooding and loss of water service. The relationships she had developed and maintained with our State and Federal elected officials were critical to the speedy delivery of crucial State and Federal assets. Her leadership among City staff and industry was a key component to the swift stabilization of Beaumont’s infrastructure.
Under her watch, progress continued in making the central business district and every corner of the city cleaner and more attractive. New brick sidewalks, decorative lighting, extensive landscaping, and a concerted effort to fight litter, high weeds, and graffiti continue to result in more welcoming streets and common areas. The city’s 42 parks are continuously upgraded with a dog park and two new hike and bike trails.
The projects that she is especially proud of consist of The Event Centre, Town Lake, and adjacent Lakeside Center. The Town Lake and adjoining downtown areas shined in February 2020, after Mayor Ames solidified a new partnership with Mardi Gras Southeast Texas to host the event for years to come. In addition, Beaumont has seen multiple new neighborhood Community Centers, Fire Stations, Libraries, a Public Health Facility, state of the art Tennis Center, two hike and bike trails, along with an Amtrak Station that includes a Police Sub Station under her leadership.
The most recent addition to the Park System is the Boardwalk at Cattail Marsh, a natural wetland created within the city water system, a safe haven for birds and aquatic mammals with over 350 species of birds migrating every year drawing visitors from around the world. In fact, the City is moving forward now with the Tyrell Park Visitor’s and Birding Center which is in the midst of construction.
Mayor Ames has also been instrumental in changing the once Beaumont City Pound to an “Animal Care Shelter” and with support of the City Council altered the Animal Care ordinances to include spay, neuter, and chip with every adoption along with a myriad of other changes that support the well-being of the animals in the shelter. Those efforts recently led to Beaumont becoming a “no kill” city in December 2018. Mayor Ames secured a grant totaling $7,500 in November 2020, to support the City’s maintenance of its “no kill” status.
She has been an active member of Beaumont organizations, such as the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, the Junior League of Beaumont, the Julie Rogers Gift of Life Breast Cancer Awareness Program, and the Downtown Rotary Club of Beaumont.
She has also been active in local government organizations such as the National League of Cities, Texas Municipal League, and Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission, and on a National level serves on committees of the United States Conference of Mayors that benefit the City of Beaumont. In October 2020, Mayor Ames was appointed to the Task Force On Disaster Issues Affecting Persons Who are Elderly and Persons With Disabilities due to her extensive background in the healthcare sector as well as her handling of several natural disasters during her tenure as Mayor.
The first day for a Candidate to file for a place on the ballot is January 13, 2021. The last day to file will be February 12, 2021, by 5pm.