The Board of Pilot Commissioners for Galveston County Ports today declined to consider licensing of pilots separately from the current process used by the board and the Galveston-Texas City Pilots Association. Agenda
The NW Gulf Federal Pilots, which formed in 2011, has been seeking to provide pilot services in Galveston. Currently only pilots with the Galveston-Texxas City Pilots Association provide pilot services at Galveston County ports.
Paxton Crew, of The Crew Law Firm, who represents the Gal-Tex Pilots Association, said the board followed the law.
“The board, continuing to follow the law, and the statutes, and there's a new round of applications about to be taken, and anyone who is qualified is invited to apply, and they'll be considered,” Crew said, noting that applicants would apply through the pilot board.
He said that the board hasn't recognized that the NW Gulf Federal Pilots had submitted an application.
Justin Renshaw, who is representing the NW Gulf Federal Pilots, said the pilots he represents filed an application in August 2016 to the board. Renshaw said that the rules require pilots to file applications through the process of the Gal-Tex Pilots, which he said creates a monopoly by the pilots association.
“They made the decision today to maintain that, which in our position is what perpetuates the monopoly, which is contrary to the Constitution and the laws of the State of Texas,” Renshaw said.
He said the board was “caught” between the Constitution and the current statutes.
Renshaw said the decision was “part of the process” and that he would proceed to the court system to settle the issue.
Renshaw said he would be gathering documents to petition the courts.