The City of West Orange got a new judge Monday, but lost an alderman. Mayor Roy McDonald appointed Carl Thibodeaux as the new municipal judge for West Orange. Upon accepting the appointment, Thibodeaux resigned from his position on the City Council.
The position of municipal judge became vacant with the death of Gene Roberts in February. Thibodeaux is excited about taking the new position of West Orange municipal judge. He started his public service in West Orange, later served 20 years as county judge, and has always wanted to be a municipal judge. “I look forward to doing it,” Thibodeaux responded.
City Secretary Theresa Van Meter performed the oath of office with Thibodeaux whose term of office effectively began on June 1. A replacement for Thibodeaux on the council will be made by the mayor.
The City Council approved repealing an existing ordinance and replacing it with a new one pertaining to the upkeep of property in the city. Mayor McDonald said the ordinance makes property owners responsible for keeping adjoining land to their own in good condition. This will include adjacent sidewalks, alleys, ditches, and right of ways. Unimproved properties and tracts over one acre are exempt from the ordinance according to McDonald.
Like many other cities have done, West Orange on Monday approved an ordinance suspending the effective date proposed by Entergy Texas for its rate increase applied for with the Texas Utility Commission. The insurance coverage for employees of the City of West Orange was approved by the council. The dental insurance went up 10 percent while health and vision coverage will stay the same for Fiscal Year 2019.
At the conclusion of the regular meeting a public hearing was held to receive comments on local housing and community development as part of the city’s application for a Texas Community Development Block Grant. Public Works Director Mike Stelly informed the council that the city is considering applying for a $350,000 grant with the Texas Department of Agriculture. There were no citizens that commented during the brief hearing.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-