Monday, June 16 2014, 08:37 PM CDT
Former Beaumont Mayor Maury Meyers is remembered
BEAUMONT-By Jennifer Gordy
A leader credited with changing the Beaumont skyline, healing labor and management relations in the 70's and re-couping millions of lost dollars for the city has died. Former Mayor Maury Meyers died yesterday after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was 82
Former Mayor Pro Tem and friend, Calvin Williams, says, "You couldn't find anyone who was born in Beaumont, such as myself, who had a greater passion than Maury Meyers. I mean he was really genuine and wanted it to be the best it could be." Meyers served two terms as Mayor of Beaumont from 1978 to 1982 and again from 1986 to 1990.
One of his major accomplishments: Improving labor/management relations. Business leader and friend, Jim Yarbrough says, "Back in those days our construction costs were high. We had violence on the picket lines. We had strikes almost continuously. And the labor management situation was not good and we had a bad reputation of being a bad place to do business." Meyers worked closely with labor and Gulf States Utilities to bring its headquarters to downtown Beaumont, proving to management that labor in Beaumont could finish a project on time and under budget. Edison Plaza was built under Meyers' watch and remains the focal point of the downtown Beaumont skyline.
Meyers believed in a progressive Beaumont. Yarbrough says, "He saw the opportunity that existed for opening up Liberty and Laurel as one way streets which took a tremendous traffic load off of Calder." And the city named the bridge after him. He was also credited with bridging the gap in race relations.
Williams says, "I thought that he was coming in from the establishment and I had my defenses up and everything because we had had so much turmoil on the council. And, come to find out he was the most genuine person you would ever want to meet, as nice as he could be, a perfect gentleman and I really did enjoy our relationship and it extended far beyond our time on the council." A man with big dreams for Beaumont.. He organized a nationally recognized Economic Summit.
Economic development was the 'centerpiece' of his administration, not just bringing in new business. but, keeping exisiting companies in town.
Yarbrough says, "He was very active in telling people already in Beaumont, thank you for having a plant in Beaumont and thank you for your financial contribution you make." Williams adds, "Maury never lost his passion for a better Beaumont. He always wanted Beaumont to be the very best."
A memorial service will be held Thursday, June 19, 2014, 3:30 p.m., at Temple Emanuel, 1120 Broadway Street, Beaumont, Texas 77701.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations in Maury's memory be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Grand Central Station, P. O. Box 4777, New York, New York 10163; Temple Emanuel, 1120 Broadway Street, Beaumont, Texas 77701; or to the charity of your choice.