The Commissioners Court accepted the resignations of Commissioner John Gothia and County Judge Carl Thibodeaux at its meeting Wednesday morning. In between the acceptance of the resignations, Thibodeaux appointed Kirk Roccaforte as the replacement for Gothia as the Commissioner from Precinct Three.
Roccaforte has served twenty-five years with the City Council in Bridge City as both mayor and as alderman. Roccaforte identified coastal protection from storms and economic development as the most important issues facing the county.
The coastal spine or “Ike Dike” is a priority for Roccaforte. He was mayor of Bridge City when storm surge from Hurricane Ike devastated that city. Getting industry and businesses to come to the county will take a unified effort according to Roccaforte. “I think we need to work together trying to get these businesses into Orange County.”
The swearing in ceremony of Roccaforte will be Thursday evening at 6:30 in the Commissioners Courtroom of the Administration Building. He will present a surety bond for approval by the Commissioners Court before taking his position with the Court.
An appointment of a new County Judge to replace Thibodeaux is expected to be done at next week’s Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday, July 16. Gothia is the favorite to be appointed having resigned his position as a Commissioner to be eligible to be named the new County Judge.
Lanie Brown with Congressman Brian Babin’s office presented Thibodeaux a congressional proclamation at the start of the meeting. The proclamation recognized and thanked Thibodeaux for his more than 20 years of service to Orange County.
The Commissioners considered two building or repair projects during the meeting. Maintenance Director Kurt Guidry re-submitted the contract for repairs to the Sheriff’s Office located on Border Street in Orange. Originally the contract had money to be spent repairing the roof of that building, but no repairs are needed on the roof. The revised contract has corrected that mistake according to Guidry.
FEMA is requiring the county get at least three request for qualifications for an historical architect or engineer to write the scope of work for the renovations to the Orange County Courthouse. The main concern is repairing the roof on the District Clerk’s office which has a persistent leak that has damaged some of the records there.
A closed executive session was held with Assistant County Attorney Denise Gremillion to discuss pending or threatened litigation. Sheriff Keith Merritt and Missy Pillsbury were both involved in the meeting behind closed doors. No action was recommended later in open session.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-