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Focusing on the Future Meeting Held with Local High School Students

in Government/Schools

City of Orange Mayor Larry Spears Jr. held a “Focusing on the Future” meeting with students from local high schools to involve the youth in discussions about the future of Orange.

“As a servant of the community, I believe that perspectives and insights from our youth would be valuable in discussions about future city projects and community initiatives. This opportunity would provide our youth with a platform to voice their concerns and ideas,” said Mayor Spears.

Each school selected two exemplary students to participate in the meeting for demonstrating exceptional leadership, academic excellence, a positive attitude, and actively contributing to their community through various initiatives, showcasing their dedication to making a positive impact. During the meeting, Mayor Spears and City of Orange staff spoke about the role of each department in serving the community. Mayor Spears then opened up the meeting for students to ask questions about how the City government operates and to discuss their views and ideas about the future of Orange. Through open dialogue, students took advantage of the opportunity to exchange ideas and express their opinions in a productive conversation with the Mayor.

Students were chosen from Bridge City High School, Community Christian School, Deweyville ISD, Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD, Orangefield Independent School District, and West Orange – Cove Consolidated Independent School District.

City of West Orange Explains Additional Cost on Sanitation Bills

in Government

On November 7, 2023, a special election was held to increase the sales tax for the development of an Economic Development Commission in West Orange. The vote was approved by a majority, as seen in the photo below.

It applies to any place in West Orange that charges sales tax, 1/4 of 1%, or twenty-five cents more sales tax paid on every $100 spent, which amounts to an extra 5 cents on sanitation bills.

This added tax will aide in bringing new businesses to the West Orange community.

Orange City Council Considering Sidewalk Installation Along West Park Ave.

in Government

City of Orange Public Works Director Adam Jack presented information to the Orange City Council to consider approving awarding a contract to Legendary Concrete to install a sidewalk along West Park Avenue.

As a result of visitor growth at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, extending the existing sidewalk along West Park Avenue would support safer movement of visitors to and from the tourist destination. After coordination with the venue and the City of Orange Economic Development Corporation, an extension of the existing sidewalk south from the venue’s main entrance 420 feet to an exit gate would provide a safe way for pedestrians to return to the visitor’s parking area instead of walking in the street or on the grass behind the curb.

This project would be funded by the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) reserve fund in an effort to promote tourism and the hotel industry.

TMPA Secures $780K in Back Pay for Deputies Terminated by OCSD

in Government

In an impressive legal triumph, the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) secured $780,000 in back pay for 13 deputies who were unjustly terminated from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD). This landmark decision came as a result of persistent legal efforts led by TMPA regional attorney Gregory Cagle, particularly in the wake of the 2020 Orange County Sheriff election fallout.

A recent statement from the TMPA shed light on the circumstances that led to this significant outcome. “The affected deputies faced unjust terminations and reassignments under Sheriff Jimmy Mooney, which led to grievances under the Orange County collective bargaining agreement. Despite legal challenges from Orange County, TMPA’s unwavering commitment to justice and the welfare of its members succeeded, ensuring the deputies received their due compensation,” the association reported.

This victory not only underscores TMPA’s commitment to the well-being of its members but also highlights the importance of unity and strong legal protections for law enforcement officers. TMPA Executive Director Kevin Lawrence emphasized the impact of this achievement, stating, “This achievement highlights the critical role of unity and robust legal protection for our officers. We are committed to vigorously defending our members’ rights.”

The successful resolution of this case reaffirms TMPA’s dedication to advocating for the rights and welfare of law enforcement personnel throughout Texas. With a focus on providing unparalleled legal support and professional services, TMPA continues to stand as a staunch defender of its members’ rights, ensuring justice and fair treatment for law enforcement officers across the state.

City of Orange Proclaims April 2024 as Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month

in Government
Pictured L to R: Mayor Larry Spears Jr.; Cody Vasquez, Executive Director at CASA of the Sabine Neches Region; Halee Watkins, Advocate Supervisor at CASA of the Sabine Neches Region

Mayor Larry Spears Jr. has proclaimed April 2024 as Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month in the City of Orange and urges all citizens to recognize this month by dedicating ourselves to the task of improving the quality of life for all children and families.

In Federal fiscal year 2023, the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services confirmed 58,120 victims of child abuse or neglect, including 1,120 in Orange County. We must work together as a community to increase awareness about child abuse and promote the social and emotional well-being of children and families in a safe, stable, nurturing environment. CASA of the Sabine Neches Region, Child Protective Services, Child Advocacy Centers, foster parents, teachers, and others work to ensure that children in our community have a safe, happy future.


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